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A firefighter searches for survivors in a collapsed building in downtown Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, early Thursday, Jan. 26, 20 Victor R. Caivano/AP/Press Association Images
Rio de Janeiro

Six bodies pulled from Rio rubble after building collapse

Six people have been confirmed dead and 16 remain missing following the collapse of three high-rise buildings in Rio de Janeiro earlier today.

THE BODIES OF six people have been recovered from rubble following the collapse of three high-rise buildings in Rio de Janeiro.

Six people were brought to hospital and at least 16 people remain missing following the fall of the office buildings, reports the AP.

Authorities say that, while no cause for the collapse has been confirmed, illegal construction work going on inside a 20-storey building may have caused it to collapse and drag the other two down with it.

The buildings were located near the Municipal Theatre and the headquarters of oil giant Petrobras. As they came down the crushed a four-storey construction site.

In the immediate aftermath of the collapse, witnesses also reported of a strong smell of natural gas in the area.

The incident is seen as the latest in a series of failures by the country’s authorities to improve infrastructure ahead of its hosting of the World Cup in 2014 and the Olympics in 2016. Three months ago, three people were killed when a gas leak ripped through a restaurant in the city.

Video: buildings collapse in Rio de Janeiro>

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