9 firefighters from Brazil’s fire brigade died when a cave collapsed during their training exercise. The collapse was caused by heavy rain and flooding in the region that has been ongoing for some time now. It is believed that this is what destabilized the ground under the cave and triggered the collapse.
The cave was located in Santa Helena de Goiás, a region 100 km from the state capital of Goiania. This particular region has been suffering from heavy rains for some time now disrupting daily life and causing many problems for its citizens. The region suffered a drought until only a few weeks ago when it began to rain heavily all of a sudden. Now the region is under water and many homes have been flooded and people evacuated.
Some of the firefighters that were inside the cave at the time survived but there was another who remains beneath the rubble that they are still looking for. Authorities hope to find him alive even though it seems unlikely at this point given what has already been announced by the firefighters who did get out.
The cave was discovered recently by the fire brigade while they were carrying out routine training exercises in caves that are common to this particular region. The area is rich in minerals and believed to extend for miles below ground level. This particular cave collapsed while the firefighters were inside of it, but some managed to escape before getting stuck under the rubble.
A great number of firefighters from surrounding areas have been called in to assist in the operation and hopefully rescue their peers from beneath the rubble where they are still trapped. Authorities say that although chances of survival at this point seem small, they will continue looking for the missing firefighter until they find him or ultimately conclude that he is dead. For the time being, the search continues.
One of the firefighters that managed to get out said that he could hear his colleagues on the other side of some rubble, but they were stuck and couldn’t get themselves out. He informed authorities and help arrived quickly, but their attempts to pull them from beneath the rubble were unsuccessful. They got in contact with some more experienced rescue teams and brought in the necessary equipment to clear the way and open up a passage through which they could pull their trapped colleagues out.
The firefighters that were rescued say that the cave was very large and extended for miles down below ground level. They say that when they heard the rocks falling, they knew something had destabilized the area causing the collapse. Then it started raining even more heavily causing the collapse to be even more extensive.
They say that there were many firefighters inside at the time, but all of them managed to get out before their path was blocked by the rocks that fell on top of them. Some of the fallen rocks are said to be very large indeed and it is believed that this may have been an explosion of some sort that destabilized the ground.
The death toll for this tragedy now stands at 9 firefighters, but many more are still missing and authorities hope to find them alive. Several other nearby caves have been closed off until further notice while they assess the stability of their surroundings.
According to authorities, there is no sign yet that the rain is going to let up anytime soon. Heavy rain has been falling for several days now causing many problems that are not expected to subside any time soon.
The search continues into the night for more of the firefighters that are still trapped underneath the rubble, but so far only one of them was rescued alive while 9 others were found dead at the scene.
Authorities say that many firefighters from surrounding towns and cities were already there when they arrived at the scene. They brought in the right equipment to clear up some of the rubble and locate any other survivors underneath.