Powerful blast rips through Rio neighbourhood

2015-10-19 16:05
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Rio de Janeiro - A powerful explosion suspected to be caused by a gas leak ripped through a Rio de Janeiro neighbourhood on Monday, injuring at least eight people and destroying homes and businesses, officials said.

Footage on Globo television from the Sao Cristovao area of northern Rio, next year's Olympic host city, showed firefighters working to find survivors in a swath of rubble and twisted metal.

Rio Mayor Eduardo Paes told Globo that, so far, eight injured people had been rescued. Seven were hospitalised.

More than 20 buildings, including two restaurants and a pharmacy, were destroyed, according to the report. The shockwave broke windows in residential buildings hundreds of meters away.

Authorities switched off gas supplies to the neighbourhood and a leak in a pizza restaurant was so far the main suspected cause of the blast.

"Most likely this was a gas explosion of improperly stored cylinders because there was no municipal gas supply to these establishments," Paes told Globo.

Read more on:    brazil

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