RIO DE JANEIRO, April 12 (Xinhua) -- At least two people were killed, three injured and 17 others missing, after the collapse of two residential buildings Friday morning in the Muzema slum community, a poor area in west Rio de Janeiro, Brazil's civil defense authorities reported.
The two collapsed buildings, with four and six floors, respectively, both opened six months ago.
Civil defense personnel evacuated residents of the nearby buildings for fear that more buildings are facing the risk of falling.
It was not raining when the collapse occurred, but the Muzema area was deeply affected by the recent storms which hit Rio earlier this week, killing 10 people and causing severe damages.
The neighborhood's main streets were still flooded and residents were isolated by Friday morning, though the storm occurred on Monday.
According to the city government, the buildings were irregular constructions without the permission of the mayor's office and the city authorities had tried to interdict them, but a court order prevented the demolition.
The Muzema community is controlled by violent mob-like militia groups, which control everything in the area, from property rights to security and cooking gas distribution. The two buildings are likely to have been built by order of those groups.
"Our teams are here trying to rescue people from the debris. A lesson stands from all this: when the city alerts about those risks, let us listen, so that this sort of thing does not happen again," said mayor Marcelo Crivella.
It is estimated that in the same community there are about 60 residential buildings built irregularly, without the official permits for construction and sales.