Residents of Fazenda Botafogo housing complex, in Rio de Janeiro, where a serious explosion killed five people Tuesday (Apr. 5) morning, say that at least one year ago, they had detected a pungent smell of gas in the place, located at Coelho Neto neighborhood, beside Avenida Brasil.
"Everyone who lives on this street and who takes [the street] had already complained about a pungent smell of gas. It was an announced tragedy. A shame that they did not want to avoid it," said Ari Nunes de Oliveira, uncle of a resident of the housing complex, who lost his 13-year old daughter and his wife.
The explosion was triggered by a leak in the gas pipe from Gas Natural Fenosa (CEG), the company distributing piped gas in the state of Rio de Janeiro.
"I heard a very loud noise, really scary, and my grandson woke me up saying that something had blown and that the building was going to fall. I had detected this smell of gas about a year ago. But CEG said there was nothing. What can we do? This had been annouced some time ago," said Maria José Soares, who has lived for more than 40 years on the 4th floor of the building.
Tatiane Reis, who lives there with her two daughters and her husband, said she does not intend to return there. "No way! Now I want to leave this place. I will no longer fell safe, nor calm living in a place where this kind of thing happens. "
Rio City Hall reported that they will provide all necessary support to the families of victims of the explosion in the number 38 of the housing complex. After meeting with residents, Rio de Janeiro Mayor Eduardo Paes announced that the city will carry out emergency works at the building and will pay a monthly stipend of $270.00 to each affected family.
Moreover, while the interventions last, the municipality will bear the costs for hotel accommodation of those who have not gone to the relatives' houses. Paes criticized CEG's delay to act: "There is no way to leave people here suffering. They [CEG] will have to pay for their acts," said the mayor.
Fazenda Botafogo housing complex was inaugurated in late 1970s, and has 86 buildings with 40 apartments each. The estimate is that 17,000 people live in the housing complex.
Translated by Amarílis Anchieta
Fonte: Agência Brasil.