A major fire broke out in El Salvador’s Finance Ministry on Friday killing at least two people, injuring 22 others and prompting some inside to jump from the building before the blaze was extinguished, officials said. Salvador Sanchez Ceren, El Salvador’s President, said on local TV that one woman, a union worker, died, while another person had died in hospital. Three more people were in a bad state and being operated on, he added.
Earlier, emergency services spokesman Carlos Fuentes said a man had died from burns and smoke inhalation on the fifth floor of the nine-story building in the capital, San Salvador. It was unclear if this was the same person mentioned by the president. Local video showed one person jumping from the top of the building and landing heavily on a lower roof near the ground. Emergency services officials said the man was in grave condition in hospital.
Fuentes said a few people had jumped from the fifth and sixth floors of the burning building, suffering injuries. Around 50 people were evacuated from the building and 25 people were taken to hospital for treatment for burns and smoke inhalation, Fuentes said. The government sent in helicopters to rescue people in the ministry as video showed thick plumes of smoke streaming from the building. Jose Alfaro, another spokesman for local emergency services, said there was no one left trapped in the building.