Nine firefighters died after the collapse of a cave in the interior of the state of Sao Paulo, in Brazil. According to the authorities, 20 vehicles and more than 75 lifeguards participated in the search operation.
A group of 28 civilian firefighters they carried out a training session in the Dos Bocas cave in the city of Altinópolis, located about 360 kilometers from the capital of São Paulo, when part of the cavern collapsed, leaving 10 people trapped inside.
According to the Sao Paulo Fire Department, a person was rescued alive and admitted to a hospital in the region with multiple fractures and hypothermia, while others three firefighters were found dead in the first hours.
The six remaining were wanted in an operation involving more than 75 lifeguards and 20 vehicles, although the death of the six workers was later confirmed. “The rescue was very difficult due to the condition. It is more than a kilometer to get to the place“, the spokesman for the Fire Department, Commander Rodrigo Leal, told reporters.
Meanwhile, the Military Police reported that six other people who were not buried when the cave collapsed were transferred to health centers with minor injuries.
The word of the governor of San Pablo
For his part, São Paulo Governor Joao Doria, who is in Glasgow for the UN COP26 climate summit, said on Twitter that he arranged a plane “with geologists and Civil Defense to help” with the rescue. “I closely accompany the rescue of civilian firefighters who were trapped in the collapse of a cave in Altinópolis. I determined all the necessary support and resources for the rescue“, wrote.
Cristina Trifoni, mother of one of the instructors who participated in the training, also spoke about what happened. As explained in statements to GloboNews, the group planned to spend the night inside the grotto. “What happened is that the entrance to the place they were in collapsed. I’m desperate.”He said along with other family members of firefighters who are awaiting news about the rescue.