Toddler dies as 4-storey constructing collapses in Rio de Janeiro

Rio de Janeiro, June 3

A four-storey building collapsed in western Rio de Janeiro on Thursday, killing at least one infant, the city’s Fire Department said.

Four people were rescued and firefighters were hunting for at least one more.

The irregular construction in Rio das Pedras, a working-class neighbourhood, collapsed around 3:20 am and also damaged nearby residences.

The building consisted of four small homes built atop one another, according to a spokesperson for the Fire Department. City officials confirmed to The Associated Press in an email it had no license.

Irregular constructions have long plagued Latin America’s largest nation, especially in militia-run areas.

Militias, which are made up of former firefighters, police and soldiers, often take control of public land and build illegal housing to rent informally. Many people choose to live in such residences because they are cheaper.

In 2019, two condemned buildings that had been built without permits in an area run by illegal militia groups collapsed in Rio, killing two dozen people. AP

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