CCTV footage captured the panic in the streets as three multi- story buildings collapsed in Rio de Janeiro on Wednesday night.
Four bodies have been recovered from the rubble but the number of dead was expected to rise as rescue workers look for at least 22 people.
The buildings were offices and when they collapsed, late at night, they were mostly empty. Six people were pulled out alive.
Rio de Janeiro’s Mayor Eduardo Paes visited the scene. “We won’t speculate about the accident’s causes, but we have ruled out the possibility of a gas explosion. What has probably happened was a structure failure in the tallest building that led to the collapse of all three,” he said.
But the incident comes a little over three months after a suspected gas explosion at a restaurant in the city which left three people dead.
Concerns have been raised about the state of Rio de Janeiro’s infrastructure as Brazil prepares to host the football World Cup in 2014 and the Olympic Games two years later.