Sao Paulo high rise collapses during massive fire, victims unknown

An abandoned building engulfed in flames in downtown Sao Paulo collapsed Tuesday as firefighters worked to put out the fire that began in the wee hours of the morning.

Firefighters said they believed there were victims, but it was unclear how many. Officials said the inferno began at around 1:30 a.m. and it wasn’t known how many people were inside.

In this photo released by Sao Paulo Fire Department, a building on fire is seen in Sao Paulo, Brazil, Tuesday, May 1, 2018. A burning building in downtown Sao Paulo has collapsed as firefighters worked to put out a fire that began in the middle of the night. (Sao Paulo Fire Department via AP)

A fire broke out at an abandoned building in downtown Sao Paulo on Tuesday.  (Sao Paulo Fire Department via AP)

At least 160 firefighters rushed to the scene, The New York Times reported.

Footage of the collapse showed the multi-story building falling on itself as the blaze raged. Debris could be seen falling into the surrounding streets.

In this photo released by Sao Paulo Fire Department, a building on fire is seen in Sao Paulo, Brazil, Tuesday, May 1, 2018. A burning building in downtown Sao Paulo has collapsed as firefighters worked to put out a fire that began in the middle of the night. (Sao Paulo Fire Department via AP)

The building used to house the Brazilian federal police, but had been abandoned for years.  (Sao Paulo Fire Department via AP)

In this photo released by Sao Paulo Fire Department, debris of a building which was engulfed by a fire and collapsed, in Sao Paulo, Brazil, Tuesday, May 1, 2018. A burning building in downtown Sao Paulo has collapsed as firefighters worked to put out a fire that began in the middle of the night. (Sao Paulo Fire Department via AP)

The building collapsed. It is unclear how many victims there were.  (Sao Paulo Fire Department via AP)

The building was formally a headquarters for federal police but had been abandoned for many years and had been occupied by squatters, according to local media.

Officials expected to find victims, but didn’t know how many, firefighter Lt. Andre Elias told Globo TV.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Ryan Gaydos is an editor for Fox News. Follow him on Twitter @RyanGaydos.

Get the latest news delivered to your inbox

Follow us on social media networks

PREV Dancers celebrate green grass of Cardiff
NEXT Gosod trefniadau diogelwch newydd i'r Sioe Frenhinol