The Government has declared two days of National Mourning after a fire that broke in a Barracas warehouse killed at least nine people. Seven others remain hospitalized in serious condition.
Security Secretary Sergio Berni confirmed that the situation turned tragic when one of the warehouse walls collapsed, killing seven firefighters (six from the Federal Police and one from the La Boca fire department) and two Civil Defense officers who were trying to put out the fire. Three other walls collapsed a few minutes and one of them was caught on camera.
The fire broke out at around 8:30 am in a warehouse located on Azara 1245, in Barracas. The warehouse was owned by Iron Mountain, an American information management services company. Apertura has an interesting profile on Iron Mountain.
This isn’t the first time that one of the company’s warehouses catches fire. The company has already suffered two similar incidents in the past: a warehouse in London caught fire back in 2006 and another in Italy was completely destroyed in 2011. A witness said that “most people in the area were still resting when suddenly we started to hear somebody crying for help. The firefighters were trying to pry a door open when suddenly a wall fell on top of them.” A second wall fell a few minutes later. Firefighters were crying as they tried to put the fire out. Ironically, they are a company that specializes on “information destruction.”
The company has released a statement, saying it is “deeply saddened by the deaths of the brave first responders who rushed to save the facility” and that “they will investigate the cause of the fire and work closely with local investigators, police and fire authorities to understand what happened.”
Even though initially two people had been reported missing, Berni has now said that everyone has been accounted for.
A photographer from the DYN news agency also captured the moment one of the walls came down.
Below are some of the most retweeted photos on Twitter. Some of them are heartbreaking.
This is what the warehouse looks like now:
Our thoughts go out to the families of those who lost their lives today. (Featured photo via Telam)