Nine people were killed in Brazil as a structure collapsed late Tuesday during a political meeting in the State of Sao Paulo. The victims were supporters of former President Luiz Inácio Lula Da Silva, while 31 others were reported to have been injured, it was reported Wednesday.
A warehouse usually used as a container depot crumbled down in the municipality of Itapecerica da Serra, not far from South America's largest city as the Oct. 2 presidential elections loom over. Lula is believed to have no less than a 10-point lead over the incumbent Jair Bolsonaro, according to nearly all credible pollsters.
Luciana Soares, a spokeswoman for the local fire department, said 64 workers were gathered on the mezzanine of the warehouse of the Multiteiner foreign trade container company. She said the structure gave way under the weight.
Among those who escaped unharmed were Congressman Jonas Donizette and federal congressional candidate Ely Santos, of the Solidarity Party.
There are no words to describe the feeling right now. A mixture of gratitude for my life and the lives of all those who were rescued alive and deep sadness for the fatalities, Donizette said on Instagram, while Santos spoke of having been born again.
Itapecerica da Serra City Hall authorities have banned the container company Multiteiner from further operating after Tuesday's incident.
The company is already interdicted. It needs to be closed. If there was a collapse and it continues to operate, it would be once again irregular. The inspection already went there and interdicted it, said Leonel Novais, municipal secretary of Planning and Environment.
According to São Paulo authorities, some 64 people were participating in a meeting with politicians but it remains unclear who exactly organized the event and who needs to be held accountable for this outcome.
An important detail is that whoever organized the event, whoever planned the event, didn't have the slightest concern to pay attention to the safety issues of the place because they put up a significant number of people all at once, an official noted.
Itapecerica da Serra Civil Defense Director Josiel de Almeida said that the causes of the accident were still under investigation. We have Civil Defense teams on site. The company and the employees have already been instructed about the movement on the site. The inspection process is still being carried out, Almeida said.