Brazil building collapse death toll reaches nine, says official

Firefighters search for survivors among the rubble after a seven-floor residential building collapsed in Fortaleza, Brazil, on Oct 15, 2019.
Firefighters search for survivors among the rubble after a seven-floor residential building collapsed in Fortaleza, Brazil, on Oct 15, 2019. PHOTO: AFP

RIO DE JANEIRO (AFP) - The death toll from an apartment building collapse in north-east Brazil reached nine on Saturday (Oct 19), an official said, after the body of the last missing person was found in the rubble.

Seven people were pulled alive from the debris of the seven-storey residential building in an upscale neighbourhood of Fortaleza city in Ceara state after it crumbled last Tuesday.

Officials are still investigating the cause of the disaster, a spokesman for the Ceara public security department told AFP, confirming that nine people had died.

The tower had been built illegally, G1 news site reported earlier in the week, citing the city council.

Building collapses in Brazil tend to happen in poorer neighbourhoods, known as favelas, where illegal construction is rampant.

In April, 24 people were killed when two buildings in a favela in Rio de Janeiro collapsed after several days of heavy rain.