Part of a 22-floor apartment building collapsed early Sunday and firefighters were searching for four people who were missing and presumed dead.
Forty-four apartments were destroyed when one wing of the apartment building collapsed.
The TV news program “Globo News” reported that some of the residents got out of the building in the middle of the night after hearing strange noises and fearing it might collapse.
“Globo News” reported that the building was evacuated at the end of 1996 because of structural problems, but most residents returned three months later.
Firefighters on Sunday evacuated the portion of the building that remains standing in Barra de Tijuca in southwestern Rio but allowed one resident per apartment to collect valuables and a change of clothes.