RIO DE JANEIRO - A building collapsed in downtown Rio de Janeiro late on Wednesday, according to local media, in the latest incident highlighting the failure of authorities to improve the city's infrastructure amid preparations to host soccer's World Cup and the Olympics.
Newswire Agencia Estado reported at least two fatalities in the collapse of the building, and said that two other buildings nearby had partially collapsed.
A loud explosion preceded the collapse, leaving the surrounding area covered in debris and dust, TV Globo reported. Police and emergency authorities said there were casualties, but that no official count had been released.
As many as 11 people could be trapped amid the wreckage, cable broadcaster GloboNews said. It said city authorities were assessing the risk of collapse of an adjoining building that had been badly damaged.
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