RIO DE JANEIRO, April 13 (Xinhua) -- The number of deaths from the collapse of two buildings in a poor area in west Rio de Janeiro increased to seven, after two people who had been hospitalized died, Brazil's Fire Department said Saturday.
Another 17 people remain missing, according to fire officials.
At least 10 people were pulled alive from the rubble, but two subsequently died at hospitals Friday night as a result of their injuries, which raised the number of deaths to seven, rescue officials said.
The two five-story buildings in the Muzema favela in western Rio de Janeiro collapsed on Friday morning. The cause of the collapse is unknown.
Rescue work continued throughout Friday night.
On Saturday morning, a brigade of more than 30 firefighters arrived to join the rescue efforts of over 100 soldiers, rescue dogs, drones and helicopters.
The two collapsed buildings, both opened six months ago in the Muzema slum community, were irregular construction projects appear without the permission of city authorities.
The residential use of the two buildings had been prohibited twice, in November and February. They were not demolished due to the danger demolition presented to adjacent buildings.
The Rio city authorities announced on Friday that it would demolish three buildings adjacent to the collapsed buildings, which were also built without a license, to avoid the risk of more collapses.
The Muzema community is controlled by violent mob-like militia groups. The two buildings are likely to have been built by order of the groups.
It is estimated that in the same community, there are about 60 residential buildings built without official permits for construction and sale.
The Muzema area was deeply affected by strong seasonal rain and wind, which hit Rio earlier this week and left 10 dead and caused severe damage. But it was not raining when the collapse occurred.