Occasionally I take a lot of interest in a news story. The buildings that collapsed in Rio de Janeiro’s historic centre last night prompted such interest, because I used to live in Rio many years ago, and my father worked about a quarter of a mile from the spot. I knew the area quite well.
I found an AP YouTube video that shows the moment of the collapse. The last girl running away must feel pretty lucky.
Using Google Maps, I tried to find a photo of the buildings before they fell down. This proved a bit difficult, because Avenida 13 de Maio is a pedestrian-only road, and Google’s camera trucks can’t drive up it. Also, while there were quite a few photos taken in the vicinity, they were all of the Theatro Municipal. The three fallen buildings looked for a while like they were going to be invisible.
There were three of them that collapsed. I think it was the 20 storey building that brought down the other two – a 10 story building and a 5 storey building.
None of the news coverage that I’ve seen has this photo.
I also found an AFP helicopter shot (at bottom right) that shows smoke and dust rising from the site.
Since it only happened last night, there may well still be people trapped inside it. Although fortunately, it was an office building which collapsed at 8:30 pm at night, and had relatively few people working late there at the time.
Amazing how much you can find out in an hour or two.