The collapse at dawn this Sunday of a cave in a city in the state of Sao Paulo left a balance of nine firefighters killed after they got caught while doing a workout.
“There were 9 dead and a rescued person. There are no more victims at the scene, “the Sao Paulo Fire Department reported on Twitter.
Previously, three dead and six disappeared were reported. The identity of the victims was not disclosed.
The accident occurred after midnight, while a group of 28 firefighters and instructors He was doing training as part of a course inside the “Duas Bocas” grotto, located on a private property in the municipality of Altinópolis.
“The ceiling of the cavern fell,” leaving part of the group trapped, he added.
At first, the authorities reported that 15 firefighters had been buried, but later reduced the number to 10, of which only one was rescued alive and taken to a medical center.
Five other people were injured at the time of the collapse, but they were not trapped. All were transferred to the Mercy Hospital in Altinópolis and were discharged shortly thereafter.
In the rescue work that lasted all day, hampered by the heavy rain, 75 firefighters participated, with about twenty vehicles, police, several members of the health emergency teams and sniffer dogs.
Two helicopters of the Military Police assisted in the transport to the cave, in a very difficult place and at risk of further collapse.
Rescue in the grotto, “very difficult”
Images released by the Fire Department showed rescuers working tirelessly to clear access to the interior of the cave.
“The rescue is very difficult due to the conditions. more than a kilometer to get there to the place. There was a collapse of part of the grotto. We are working very cautiously to also preserve the lives of rescue teams, “Rodrigo Leal, a commander of the Fire Department, told the G1 news site.
After confirming the latest fatalities, the authorities concluded the work.
The mayor of Altinópolis, Jose Roberto Ferracin, decreed three day official mourning before the “consternation caused in the municipality by the” regrettable tragedy.
“It is with great regret that I receive the news of the death of 9 firefighters in the collapse in Alinopolos. My condolences to family and friends at this difficult time,” wrote on Twitter Carlao Pignatari, governor of Sao Paulo in exercise, before the absence of Joao Doria, who is participating in the COP26 climate conference in Glasgow.