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ARGENTINA | 12-12-2023 15:09

Woman killed following fire, explosion at building in Buenos Aires

One woman reported dead after explosion at building located next to Labour Secretariat offices in Buenos Aires; 42 people receive treatment as firefighters battle to extinguish flames.

A woman has died and at least 42 others have received treatment after a large fire broke out following an explosion at a building in downtown Buenos Aires on Tuesday.

The flames at the building, next to the offices of the Labour Secretariat (previously Labour Ministry), caused the death of at least one woman, the head of the SAME emergency services Alberto Crescenti told reporters. 

Authorities later said that the dead woman was a Venezeuelan national likely aged between 40 and 50 years old.

At least 42 others received treatment from healthcare professionals, with at least 35 taken to nearby hospitals or clinics, he added.

Authorities have not said what caused the fire, but confirmed that the blaze began on the sixth and seventh floor of the 14-storey building, rising to the eighth. 

The main hypothesis is that it was an electrical failure that generated an explosion, since the person in charge of the building said that there is no gas in the facilities.

Employees had to be evacuated as the flames were tackled.

"The fire is under control," a firefighter, who did not provide his name, told local press. 

The woman who died was on the eighth floor at the time of the blast, said officials at the scene.

The Noticias Argentinas news agency reported that 12 people were trapped on the roof of the building while waiting for assistance to arrive.

Witnesses said they heard at least two explosions. 

SAME emergency services personnel, at least 13 firefighters from the City of Buenos Aires, members of the Federal Special Rescue Brigade and City police were working at the scene.

At least 42 people received treatment for carbon monoxide inhalation, five with oxygen at the scene. The remainder had to be transferred to local hospitals and clinics. 

Streets in the surrounding area were shut off to deal with the emergency. Local residents were told to stay away from the area.

 

– TIMES/NA
 

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