Latin America & Caribbean

El Salvador fire at finance ministry leaves at least one dead

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Media captionThe fire started on a lower storey and spread to higher levels

A fire has destroyed one of the buildings of El Salvador's Finance Ministry, killing at least one person.

The fire began on Friday afternoon on one of the lower storeys and spread to higher floors, where a number of people were trapped for nearly two hours.

Firefighters eventually controlled the blaze in the building.

Some 25 people have been taken to hospitals in the capital, San Salvador, to be treated for smoke inhalation and burn injuries. Some are seriously hurt.

One woman is confirmed dead while another woman was resuscitated in hospital after initially being reported dead.

At least 50 people were evacuated from the building, according to emergency services spokesman Carlos Fuentes.

Video footage showed one person falling from the top of the building - it is not clear if they survived.

Others fell or jumped from the fifth and sixth floors but survived, Mr Fuentes said.

It took firefighters more than an hour to control the blaze.

The fire may have been caused by an electric fault in the building's air conditioning system, local media reported.

Image copyright Reuters
Image caption The blaze began during normal working hours on Friday
Image copyright Reuters
Image caption Some victims waited for nearly two hours to be evacuated

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