At least one person has been killed after a 26 storey building collapsed following a huge fire in Brazil’s largest city, São Paulo.
The cause of the fire is thought to be a gas explosion and more than 150 firefighters are now battling the blaze.
The high-rise had been occupied by squatters, and firefighters fear more people may have been trapped inside.
Witnesses said flames spread quickly from one of the lower floors and set an adjacent building on fire.
Some 50 families had moved into the building in the Largo do Paissandu area of the city after the federal police force, which had been using it, vacated it some years ago.
Firefighters evacuated the high-rise but as they were taking out the last of the residents, the building collapsed, killing the man.
“It was a matter of seconds but we couldn’t save him,” firefighter Max Mena said.
“It felt like a tsunami when the building came down,” a 58-year-old woman who lived on the fourth floor told Folha newspaper. “I could not take anything with me.”
São Paulo Governor Márcio França said the building was an accident waiting to happen but that its residents had resisted leaving.
“That type of home is uninhabitable, staying there is looking for trouble,” he said speaking at the site of the blaze.
Capt Marcos Palumbo of the São Paulo fire brigade said that modifications made by the residents had allowed the fire to spread more quickly.
“The lifts had been taken out and those empty air shafts formed a chimney. There was also a lot of combustible material, such as wood and paper which helped fuel the fire,” he said.
Firefighters have cordoned off a large area around the blaze.
This latest blaze comes just over a year after a fire destroyed dozens of homes in a favela in the city which will almost certainly lead to more questions being asked about local fire safety codes.