Death toll rises to 23 in Brazil building collapse
The Christ the Redeemer statue overlooking Rio de Janeiro. (istock.com/microgen)
The Associated Press
Published Sunday, April 21, 2019 1:19PM EDT
RIO DE JANEIRO -- Brazilian firefighters say they've finished a search for victims of a building collapse in Rio de Janeiro, with 23 people now confirmed dead.
Authorities said Sunday the final victim has been discovered, a woman whose identity was not released.
City officials say the two four-story buildings that collapsed on April 12 had been condemned, but that they hadn't been able to enforce the order due to paramilitary gang control of the slum area.
Arrest warrants have been issued for three people suspected of involvement in building or selling the illegal structures.
Brazilian authorities said Monday they knew about structural risks in the area where a pair of buildings collapsed but were unable to act due to the threat posed by organized crime.
The structures collapsed after days of heavy rain.