INTRODUCTION: At least 17 people were killed and another 30 injured when fire swept through a 23 storey office tower in the Brazilian city of Sao Paulo on Saturday (14 February).
SV Flames and smoke pouring from office block window.
SV Rescue helicopter flying over fire scene.
TV Flames and smoke billowing from building and firemen on crane ladder spraying flames with water. (2 SHOTS)
CU PAN FROM Fire truck in street TO firemen hosing building. (2 SHOTS)
SV Helicopter landing on ground near building.
LV Man being carried to safety across cable strung between two buildings.
GV Injured being transferred from helicopter to ambulance.
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Background: INTRODUCTION: At least 17 people were killed and another 30 injured when fire swept through a 23 storey office tower in the Brazilian city of Sao Paulo on Saturday (14 February). It was Sao Paulo's third major fire in 9 years.
SYNOPSIS: The fire began just before mid-day on one of the lower floors. Seven hours later, smoke and flame were still pouring from windows on the 20th floor. People trapped on the upper storeys waved frantically as military helicopters were brought in to rescue them.
The business district around the Grande Avenida building was sealed off while a team of several hundred firemen fought to control the blaze.
It was Sao Paulo's worst fire since 1974 when a similar office block caught fire killing 187 people. In that blaze, television viewers around the world saw 43 people leap to their deaths from the upper storeys.
Rescue efforts were hampered by strong winds and intense heat which prevented rescue helicopters from landing on the roof of the burning building.
Firemen used every means they could to bring the occupants of the building to safety. In this case, a man and two young children were winched to the roof of an adjacent building.
Most of the victims were janitors assigned to weekend cleaning duties. Among the injured were 21 firemen, overcome by smoke.