At Least 11 Dead In Rio Hospital Blaze

Firefigters transfer a patient during a fire at the Badim private Hospital in Tijuca neighborhood, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, on September 12, 2019. MAURO PIMENTEL / AFP

 

At least 11 people, many of them elderly, were killed when a fire swept through a hospital in the Brazilian city of Rio de Janeiro as staff and desperate visitors battled to rescue patients from smoke-filled wards.

Hospital authorities said the blaze late on Thursday was thought to have been caused by a short circuit in a generator, although the city mayor said sabotage could not be ruled out.

Firefighters tackled the fire at the private Badim hospital, near Rio’s Maracana World Cup football stadium, for several hours before finally managing to extinguish it.

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The city’s forensic institute said most of the dead were aged 66 or over, many of whom were in the intensive care unit.

“The majority were due to suffocation and other causes related to the accident… the devices keeping them alive stopped working because of the fire,” Gabriela Graca, director of the forensic institute, told local media.

Emergency personnel searched through the burned-out building until the early hours of Friday to recover bodies.

The hospital said there had been 103 patients in the building when the fire broke out and that “more than 100 doctors were mobilized to bring help to the victims.” Seventy-seven of them had been moved to other hospitals while 14 had been cleared to return home.

During the evacuation, patients on gurneys and stretchers were carried into surrounding streets as ambulances struggled through crowds of curious onlookers to transport patients to other medical facilities.

“The doctor arrived in the room and told us that there was a fire and that we had to evacuate as quickly as possible,” 58-year-old Teresa Dias, who was visiting her father, told AFP.

“They put him on a wheelchair and tied him up to prevent him from falling out. There were a lot of other sick people on stretchers on the stairs.”

Staff wheeled medical equipment outside, and the most seriously ill patients were taken at first to a nearby children’s nursery.

Sheets tied together were seen hanging from hospital windows.

– Smoke spread quickly –
“I was able to take my mother out of her room and when we got to the fire escape, there were a lot of people running around,” lawyer Carlos Otorelo, whose 93-year-old mother was being treated for pneumonia, told the UOL news website.

“It was terrible because the smoke spread very quickly.”

Other relatives were forced to wait outside for word on their loved ones as dense black fumes filled the sky.

“I heard the loud noise of glass breaking and thought it was shooting or a robbery when I heard screaming. I went downstairs to see what was happening and I saw a lot of smoke,” said one resident, Terezinha Machado, 76.

Hospital authorities said smoke spread to all floors of the building and pointed to a generator in the oldest part of the complex as the probable cause of the fire.

Mayor Marcelo Crivella said investigators would probe whether the fire was an accident.

“Experts will have to find whether anyone was responsible. I hope I am wrong, but we have to check there was no sabotage, we have to investigate,” he told reporters when visiting the hospital Friday.

The fire service said the premises had safety certificates.

Rio has been hit by two major fires in the past year, including when the National Museum was gutted by flames last September, destroying most of its priceless collections.

In February, 10 teenage members of the Flamengo football club were killed in the prefabricated building where they were staying.

Faulty air conditioning systems were the cause of both fires.

At Least 10 Dead In Rio De Janeiro Hospital Blaze

Firefigters transfer a patient during a fire at the Badim private Hospital in Tijuca neighborhood, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, on September 12, 2019. MAURO PIMENTEL / AFP

 

At least 10 people died in a fire inside a hospital in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, on Thursday evening with rescuers desperately trying to evacuate scores of patients from the building, the fire service said.

The fire broke out at dusk at the Badim hospital in the north of the city, with first reports suggesting the cause was a short circuit in a generator in the oldest part of the complex.

“At least 10 people died,” the Rio de Janeiro fire department said in a statement, without specifying whether the victims were patients or workers.

“About 90 patients had to be transferred to other medical units.”

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The blaze was brought under control by 8:00pm (2300 GMT), and fire fighters searched until the early hours of Friday to recover bodies from the scene.

During the emergency evacuation, dozens of trolly beds and stretchers were taken into the surrounding streets as ambulances struggled to get through crowds of curious onlookers to rush the most vulnerable patients to other hospitals.

Dense black smoke poured out of one side of the hospital, a private facility in the Tijuca neighborhood, as doctors, nurses and volunteers ran inside to rescue patients.

Brazil President Says France’s Macron Has ‘Colonialist Mentality’ Over Amazon Fires

 

Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro blasted his French counterpart Emmanuel Macron Thursday as having a “colonialist mentality” for rallying G-7 countries to address wildfires raging in the Amazon rainforest.

“The French president’s suggestion that Amazon issues be discussed at the G-7 without participation by the countries in the region evokes a colonialist mentality that is out of place in the 21st century,” Bolsonaro wrote on Twitter.

Macron is using an issue that is a domestic one for Brazil and other regional countries for personal political gain, Brazil’s leader said, calling Macron’s tone “sensationalist.”

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Macron tweeted earlier Thursday that fires burning in the Amazon amount to an international crisis and should be discussed as a top priority when the G-7 countries meet this weekend in France.

“Our house is burning. Literally. The Amazon rainforest — the lungs which produce 20 percent of our planet’s oxygen — is on fire. It is an international crisis. Members of the G7 Summit, let’s discuss this emergency first order in two days!” Macron said on Twitter.

Bolsonaro noted that Macron’s tweet included a photo of a fire in the Amazon that is at least 16 years old and has been seen often in recent days on social media posts about the fires.

At Least 52 Killed In Brazil Prison Riot

 

 

At least 52 inmates were killed in a prison riot in northern Brazil on Monday as rival gang factions fought each other, an official said.

Sixteen of the dead were decapitated in the second major eruption of violence to rock the country’s severely overpopulated and deadly prison system in as many months.

Fighting broke out in the Altamira Regional Recovery Center at around 7:00 am (1000 GMT), an official from the Para state government’s penitentiary department told AFP.

Two guards were taken hostage during the hours-long clashes, which were brought under control at around midday. They were eventually freed.

Brazilian TV stations showed footage of thick black smoke rising from the prison compound and people sitting on the roof of a building.

Other images showed flames inside a building that almost reached the ceiling and people, apparently prisoners, sitting on the ground outside.

“It is likely that many detainees died from asphyxiation (from smoke),” the government official said, adding the death toll could rise.

Around 300 prisoners were being held at the jail, the official said, which reportedly has a capacity for 200.

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An outbreak of violence in the same prison in September 2018 left at least seven inmates dead, local media reported previously. Guards had apparently foiled an attempted prison escape.

In May this year, at least 55 prisoners were killed in several jails in the neighboring state of Amazonas in violence also blamed on an apparent drug trafficking gang dispute.

Most of the victims were killed by asphyxiation, the state government said at the time.

The federal government dispatched reinforcements to boost security in the jails.

Overcrowded prisons

Brazil has the world’s third largest prison population after the United States and China, with 726,712 inmates as of June 2016, according to official statistics.

The population is roughly double the capacity of the nation’s jails, which in the same year was estimated to be 368,049 inmates.

The federal government had been expected to add another 115,000 inmates by the end of 2018, Human Rights Watch said in a recent report.

Around 40 percent of the prison population is made up of pretrial detainees.

Along with severe overcrowding and gang violence, riots and breakout attempts in Brazil’s prisons are not uncommon.

Experts have described conditions in the country’s jails as inhuman, with most inmates poor, black and with little formal education.

Rape Allegation: Neymar Gives Statement To Police About Video Release

Brazil’s star striker Neymar leaves a Police Station after giving a statement to police for posting intimate WhatsApp messages with Najila Trindade Mendes de Souza, who has accused of rape, on social media, at the Internet Crime Special Police Unit in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil on June 6, 2019.
Mauro Pimentel / AFP

 

Brazil’s Neymar gave a statement at a Rio de Janeiro police station Thursday in a probe into whether he broke the law by posting intimate pictures of a woman who accused him of rape.

The football megastar — full name Neymar da Silva Santos Junior– went to the station in an attempt to defend himself, sitting in a wheelchair after spraining his ankle the night before in a pre-Copa America friendly that has ruled him out of the tournament.

As he made his way out through a media scrum after giving his statement to police, the star striker expressed gratitude to his fans for their support.

“I felt very loved,” he said.

The injury to the world’s most expensive player is a huge blow to host nation Brazil’s preparations for the South American continental championship, which begins on June 14.

Neymarhobbled off the field in the 20th minute of Brazil’s 2-0 win over Qatar in Brasilia on Wednesday. A large ice pack had been strapped to his lower right leg.

Neymar’s club, Paris Saint-Germain, tweeted Thursday that the player “suffered a severe sprain of the outer lateral ligament of his right ankle,” and will be “reassessed by the club’s medical department within the next 72 hours.”

The injury caps a troubled season on and off the field forNeymar, who faces accusations that he raped Najila Trindade Mendes de Souza, in a Paris hotel in May.

“We have testified to clear up everything we needed to. We have full confidence that we will prove my client is innocent,” his lawyer Maira Freita said.

Neymardenies the claims. In an attempt to defend himself, he published intimate WhatsApp messages and images of his encounter with Trindade on social media — without her consent, possibly breaking Brazilian law.

Such an offense carries a maximum five-year jail term.

‘Difficult moment’

Just before the late Wednesday game the SBT TV network aired an interview with Trindade in which she described suffering “aggression together with rape” at the hands of the player.

Trindade, who works as a model, acknowledged she initially likedNeymarand wanted to have sex with him.

The player paid for her plane ticket from Brazil and put her up in a Paris hotel.

Things changed dramatically at their first encounter, Trindade said. “He was aggressive, totally different than the boy that I got to know on the messages.

“Since I really wanted to be with him I said, OK, I’m going to try to handle this,” she said.

After some kissing and caressing “he started to hit me … then he began to hurt me a lot, and I asked him to stop because it hurt.”

According to Trindade,Neymar apologised, but then continued to hurt her while they had intercourse.

A video circulating on social media showed Trindade hittingNeymarin a hotel room and accusing him of assaulting her the day before.

Trindade’s lawyer Danilo Garcia Andrade said Thursday his client has received threats, adding: “It is very difficult for her to take on board that what she lived through was in fact rape.”

In a sign of how significant a figureNeymarremains in Brazilian life, President Jair Bolsonaro offered his public backing for the player ahead of the match with Qatar, and later visited him at the hospital.

“I wish you a good and fast recovery,” Bolsonaro said on Instagram beneath a photo of him andNeymar.

Neymarposted a photo of his swollen ankle on Instagram with a message: “After the storm comes the calm.”

Sponsors, however, are not calm. Mastercard canceled a Neymar-themed ad campaign that was to be broadcast during the Copa America, Spanish media reported, while Nike expressed its “deep concern” on Monday.

Neymar’s injury also leaves a question mark over the future career of a player who cost Qatar-owned Paris Saint-Germain a world-record fee of 222 million euros ($248 million) when he moved from Barcelona in 2017.

Ankle problems ruled him out of the second half of the just-completed Ligue 1 season in France. WhenNeymardid finally return to the team, he played as PSG suffered a shock defeat to Rennes in the French Cup final — and afterward lashed out at a supporter in the stands.

AFP

Fire Engulfs Rio de Janeiro National Museum

 

A massive fire on Sunday ripped through Rio de Janeiro’s treasured National Museum, one of Brazil’s oldest, in what the nation’s president said was a “tragic” loss of knowledge and heritage.

The majestic edifice stood engulfed in flames as plumes of smoke shot into the night sky, while firefighters battled to control the blaze that erupted around 2230 GMT.

Five hours later they had managed to smother much of the inferno that had torn through hundreds of rooms but were still working to extinguish it completely, according to an AFP photographer at the scene.

Firefighters work as a massive fire engulfs the National Museum in Rio de Janeiro, one of Brazil’s oldest, on September 2, 2018. The cause of the fire was not yet known, according to local media.
Carl DE SOUZA / AFP

 

The museum, located in the city’s north near the Maracana football stadium, was closed to the public when the fire sparked from a yet unknown cause.

The fire “spread very quickly; there is a lot of inflammable material,” a spokesperson for Rio’s fire department told AFP, adding that there were no reports of victims so far.

The natural history and anthropology museum was founded in 1818 by King Joao VI and is considered a jewel of Brazilian culture, with more than 20 million valuable pieces to its name.

“This is a tragic day for Brazil,” President Michel Temer said in a statement. “Two hundred years of work and research and knowledge are lost.”

“The loss of the collection of the National Museum is incalculable,” he said.

The collection included art and artifacts from Greco-Roman times and Egypt, as well as the oldest human fossil found within today’s Brazilian borders, known as “Luzia.”

The museum also housed the skeleton of a dinosaur found in the Minas Gerais region along with the largest meteorite discovered in Brazil, which was named “Bendego” and weighed 5.3 tons.

Pieces covering a period of nearly four centuries — from the arrival of the Portuguese to the territory in the 1500s until the declaration of the first Brazilian republic in 1889 — had also been stored there.

‘Culture is grieving’

Brazil’s minister of culture, Sergio Sa Leitao, tweeted that “there will be little or nothing left of the palace and the exhibits.”

“The loss is irreparable,” he said. “Culture is grieving. The country is grieving.”

A deputy director at the museum, Luiz Fernando Dias Duarte, voiced “profound discouragement and immense anger” as the treasured institution burned, accusing Brazilian authorities of a “lack of attention.”

He said the museum, a former palace that was once the official residence of the Portuguese royal family, had never had the necessary support.

“We fought years ago, in different governments, to obtain resources to adequately preserve everything that was destroyed today,” Dias Duerte told journalists.

The National Museum, which is linked to the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, has suffered from funding cuts, forcing it to close some of its spaces to the public.

As the flames raged researchers, professors and university students expressed a mix of sorrow and indignation, with some calling for demonstrations Monday in front of the ravaged building.

‘Lobotomy’ of national memory

The fire comes as campaigning for October’s critical presidential vote gets underway, one of the most uncertain Brazilian elections in decades.

Senator Lindbergh Faris of the country’s leftist Workers’ Party hit out at the institution’s lack of funding and blamed it on spending cuts ordered by the government.

Sa Leitao, who assumed the minister of culture position under Temer — a deeply unpopular centre-right leader — in July 2017, acknowledged that “the tragedy could have been avoided” but said, “the problems of the National Museum have been piling up over time.”

The minister recalled that in 2015 under the government of leftist Dilma Rousseff the museum had been closed for maintenance.

Sa Leitao also said the fire struck just after the South American country’s National Development Bank had signed a sponsorship contract aimed at revitalization.

He said a reconstruction project would be set in motion, saying “this tragedy serves as a lesson.”

“Brazil needs to take better care of its cultural heritage and the collections of its museums.”

Marina Silva, a former environment minister who is running for president, called the blaze “equivalent to a lobotomy of the Brazilian memory.”

The collection, she said, “contains objects that helped define the national identity — and are now turning to ashes.”

AFP

Brazil’s Copacabana Car Accident Kills Baby, Injures 17

An injured man is taken away by stretcher at Copacabana beach in Rio de Janeiro on January 18, 2018. At least 11 people were injured by a car that drove up onto Copacabana’s tourist-packed seafront promenade in the heart of Rio de Janeiro.
PHOTO: CARL DE SOUZA / AFP

A car ploughed into a crowd on Rio de Janeiro’s tourist-packed Copacabana seaside promenade on Thursday, killing a baby and injuring 17 people, authorities said, with the driver telling investigators he suffered a seizure.

The black car, its windshield shattered and the front caved in, came to rest on the beach where some of the injured were frantically being treated.

The Rio de Janeiro health secretariat told AFP that a nine-month-old baby girl was killed and 17 people injured in the crash.

The driver “lost control of his vehicle, which went up on the sidewalk of the promenade” and was taken for questioning, police said.

“The driver explained at the police station that he had an epileptic seizure, and anti-epileptic drugs were found in his vehicle,” a military police colonel told AFP.

The early-evening incident happened while many people including tourists were enjoying the long promenade during the summer holidays.

Witnesses described chaotic scenes with badly injured victims waiting in agony for treatment.

“There was an injured child, I think he had a broken leg,” Roberto Miguel, who works at a beachside restaurant, told AFP. “One man passed out too, another man had a broken leg and there was also a woman with a leg covered in blood.”

Miguel said an angry crowd gathered around the car.

“He (the driver) stayed in the car until the police arrived and when he got out he was safe and fine,” he said.

Cristo Forfinol, another beachside restaurant employee, said many injured victims had long waits to be treated, despite the crash occurring at one of Rio’s star attractions.

“What shocked me was that the ambulances and the medics arrived more than 45 minutes later. There were people and children in pain and the rescue services came really late,” he told AFP.

AFP

Police Raid Brazil Olympic Chief’s House In Vote-Buying Probe – Report

(File Photo)

Police in Rio de Janeiro raided the house of Brazil’s Olympic Committee chief on Tuesday in a probe into alleged bribes paid to get the city chosen as host of the 2016 Olympic Games, Globo television reported.

Police began searching Carlos Nuzman’s house early in the morning and Nuzman, who headed Rio’s successful bid to become the first South American host of the Olympics, was due to be questioned later, Globo reported.

There was no immediate confirmation from police.

According to the report from Brazil’s biggest news organization, Nuzman is suspected of taking direct part in bribery of the International Olympic Committee and of acting as an intermediary between bribe givers and takers.

Read Also: Rio Police Confirm Probe Into IOC Vote Buying

French officials were reported to have joined the search of Nuzman’s residence in Rio’s posh Leblon neighborhood.

Arrest warrants were issued against two other people, Globo reported.

The Rio games were generally credited with being a sporting and organizational success but revelations of massive corruption during the preparations have badly tarnished the legacy.

In June, former Rio governor Sergio Cabral was sentenced to 14 years prison. He was convicted of bribery and money laundering, including participation in the embezzlement of 220 million reais ($64 million) from public works projects such as Rio’s iconic Maracana football stadium.

AFP

Usain Bolt, Mo Farah Make Final IAAF Shortlist

Usain Bolt, Mo Farah Make Final IAAF ShortlistTriple world and Olympic gold medalist, Usain Bolt has been named in the final shortlist for 2016 men’s athlete of the year.

The International Association of Athletics Federation (IAAF) confirmed that the Jamaican sprinter star will slug it out with 5,000m and 10,000m Olympic champion, Mo Farah and South Africa’s Wayde Van Niekerk who the 400m gold at the Rio Olympics.

Bolt, a five-time former winner of the award, became the first person to win three consecutive 100 and 200 meters Olympic golds in Rio de Janeiro in August.

He also holds the world records in the two disciplines, 9.58 seconds and 19.19 seconds, respectively.

In the women category, Rio Olympics 10,000m champion, Almaz Ayana of Ethiopia will battle for the top prize with Rio 100m queen, Elaine Thompson of Jamaica and double Olympics hammer throw champion, Anita Wlodarczyk of Poland.

Thompson matched Bolt’s feat by also winning the 100m and 200m golds in Rio.

Ayana broke a 23-year-old record to win the 10,000 meters after clocking 29:18.45 at the Rio Games where she also took the bronze in 5,000 meters.

Anita Wlodarczyk of Poland also made the women’s list after retaining her hammer title in Rio.

The award is slated to hold on December 2 in Monaco, France.

2016 Rio Olympics Wrap Up Challenging Games

olympics2A blustery storm, a touch of melancholy and a sense of pride converged at the closing ceremony of the 2016 Olympics on Sunday as Brazil breathed a collective sigh of relief at having pulled off South America’s first Games.

After a grueling 17 days, Rio de Janeiro cast aside early struggles with empty venues, security scares and a mysterious green diving pool to throw a huge Carnival-like party.

Samba dancers, singers, drummers and a giant plumed macaw float mixed with hundreds of athletes in the storied Maracana stadium while a final volley of fireworks lit up the night sky.

Brazilians came to the closing ceremony happy, many wearing the canary yellow jersey of the nation’s sports teams, having won two late gold medals in their two favorite sports, men’s soccer and volleyball.olympics3

But Sunday served up tough weather conditions for such a big party. High winds buffeted the Maracana, power briefly went out in the upper part of the stadium, and rain drenched performers and athletes as they entered the ceremony, many with medals hanging around their necks.

To the beat of traditional Brazilian music, Olympians danced and waved their countries’ flags to celebrate their place on the world’s premier sporting stage.

In the last of 306 medal ceremonies, International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach draped the gold around the neck of Kenya’s Eliud Kipchoge, winner of the men’s marathon earlier in the day.

The city handed over the Olympic flag to Tokyo, site of the 2020 Summer Games, and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe appeared in the stadium dressed as popular video game character Mario, tunneling from Tokyo to Rio.

Bach declared the Rio Games closed and expressed hope that they had left a lasting mark on the metropolitan area of 12 million people.

“These Olympic Games are leaving a unique legacy for generations to come,” he said. “History will talk about a Rio de Janeiro before and a much better Rio de Janeiro after the Olympic Games.”

In a final symbolic act, the Olympic flame that had burned since Aug. 5 was then extinguished in a downpour of artificial rain.

Ex FIFA President, Joao Havelange Dies At Age 100

Fifa, World Cup DrawFormer president of the International Federation of Association Football (FIFA), Joao Havelange has died at the age of 100.

According to reports in Brazil, Havelange, who competed as an Olympic swimmer for Brazil at Berlin in 1936 and was a member of their 1952 water polo team in Helsinki, died in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

The Brazilian served as the seventh president of FIFA from 1974 and 1998 before Sepp Blatter took over.

João Havelange served as a member of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) from 1963 to 2011, him being the longest-serving active member upon his resignation.

Expressing his sympathies, FIFA President, Gianni Infantino, said: “During his 24 years as FIFA President football became truly global, reaching new territories and bringing the game to all corners of the world. Something the whole football community should be grateful for. I extend my condolences to his family”.

Joao Havelange was born in Rio de Janeiro on May 8, 1916 to Belgian immigrants, Jean-Marie Faustin Godefroid.

Though he trained as a lawyer, Havelange continued to pursue a career in the world of sport, becoming the head of the Brazilian delegation at the Melbourne Olympics in 1956 and the honorary president of Fluminense Football Club.

In 1958, at the age of 42, he was appointed chairman of the Brazilian Sports Association (CBD), which later became the Brazilian Football Association (CBF).

Voted on to the International Olympic Committee in 1963, Havelange was elected President of FIFA on 11 June 1974.

Rio Olympics: USA Dominate Medal Rankings On Day 11

Rio Olympics, olympic games, brazil, usaThe United States are still leading the medal table on day 11 of the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

Team USA have so far won 75 medals comprising 26 gold, 23 silver and 26 bronze.

They are closely trailed by Great Britain with 16 gold, 17 silver and eight bronze medals.

China are third with 15 gold, 14 silver and 17 bronze medals while Russia are forth with 11 gold, 12 silver and 12 bronze medals.

Completing the top five in the games that will end on August 21 are Germany with nine gold, seven silver and six bronze medals.