Four people were killed and another one hundred were injured on Monday (23 July) in a fire which gutted Bogota's tallest building, causing damage estimated at $20 million U.
Four people were killed and another one hundred were injured on Monday (23 July) in a fire which gutted Bogota's tallest building, causing damage estimated at $20 million U.S. (approximately 8 million sterling). Bigger casualty figures were avoided by an Air Force helicopter shuttle service which lifted 200 people from the roof. Two of those people killed jumped to their deaths from the upper floors of the 40-storey building owned by Colombia's Avancia Airlines.
SYNOPSIS: Bogota's tallest building...the 40-storey Avancia Airlines headquarters...was gutted by fire on Monday, and it cost he lives of four people. Two of them jumped to their death.
The heat from the flames was so intense that firemen couldn't get near enough with their hoses at first. They tackled the flames on extension ladders from about the 15th floor up. The huge fire brought out crowds of sightseers, and police had trouble keeping them away from what was becoming a danger area. It's believed the fire started on the 13th floor, but at least ten of the floors above it ware completely destroyed.
Although about one hundred people were injured, the casualty figure would have been much higher had it not been for an Air Force helicopter shuttle. The helicopter landed on the roof of he building and carried evacuees and injured to the square below.
Two hundred people were brought down by helicopter, and about forty of them were taken o hospital. Only a few were badly affected by smoke.
Damage to the building was estimated on Monday night to be around twenty million dollars.