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08 July 2017

El Salvador fire at finance ministry kills at least two

A Salvadoran army helicopter flies over the ministry of treasury building during a blaze in San Salvador, El Salvador, July 7, 2017.Image copyright
Reuters

Image caption

Army helicopters were used to rescue people who escaped to the top of the eight-storey building

A fire has destroyed one of the buildings of El Salvador’s Finance Ministry, killing at least two people.

The fire began on Friday afternoon on one of the lower storeys and spread to higher floors, where a number of people were trapped for nearly two hours.

Firefighters eventually controlled the blaze in the building.

Some 25 people have been taken to hospitals in the capital, San Salvador to be treated for smoke inhalation and burn injuries. Some are seriously hurt.

At least 50 people were evacuated from the building, according to emergency services spokesman Carlos Fuentes.

Video footage showed one person falling from the top of the building – it is not clear if they survived.

Others fell or jumped from the fifth and sixth floors but survived, said Mr Fuentes.

The fire may have been caused by an electric fault in the building’s air conditioning system, local media reported.

Image copyright
Reuters

Image caption

The blaze began during normal working hours on Friday

Image copyright
Reuters

Image caption

Some victims waited for nearly two hours to be evacuated

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