INTRODUCTION: Fire gutted the middle floors of one of Santiago's tallest buildings, at the weekend (21-22 March), killing eleven people and injuring another 25.
GVs EXT Burning tower block. (2 SHOTS)
SV TILT DOWN Injured survivor with helpers looking back at fire.
GV Burning debris falling.
SVs Rescuers running with a safety net as building still blazes; man falling and landing in pool. (3 SHOTS)
GV SLOW MOTION Repeat of man's fall.
SV Firemen recovering his body from pool.
GV More debris falling from building.
SV Man's body on ground with building still blazing behind. (2 SHOTS)
AERIAL TOP VIEW Burning building, with helicopter flying around, then leaving building. (4 SHOTS)
AERIAL VIEW Blazing building.
GROUND LEVEL SVs Dead and injured being taken away as firemen keep records. (3 SHOTS)
SV PULL BACK TO GV Damaged building (Sunday) after fire extinguished.
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Background: INTRODUCTION: Fire gutted the middle floors of one of Santiago's tallest buildings, at the weekend (21-22 March), killing eleven people and injuring another 25. Chilean police are now searching the debris for clues as suspicions grow that terrorists may have been responsible for starting the blaze.
SYNOPSIS: Saturday's fire started on the 12th floor of the Tower Santa Maria -- a 35-storey apartment complex.
Firemen were quickly on the scene to help evacuate residents, several of whom were seriously burned. But not all could be saved.
Most of the victims died in the flames -- but three died of injuries caused when they leaped from the building ... including this man.
At least three other people died of asphyxiation as smoke and fumes travelled up to floors above the fire, reminiscent of scenes in the Hollywood feature film "Towering Inferno".
The suspicions that leftist terrorists might be to blame for the fire have arisen because the Tower Santa Maria is owned by the Javier Vial financial group -- a business which achieved commercial prominence after Chile's military coup in 1973. Chilean leftist terrorists have already declared this year will see a major offensive against General Augusto Pinochet's regime. Observers note that if the fire was started deliberately, it would be a significant symbolic attack on a group seen as a bulwark of the Pinochet government. But for the present, only evidence of the fire's human cost is available to the investigators.