At least eight people were killed and 25 injured Tuesday when a commercial building under construction collapsed in Sao Paulo, Brazil.
Rescuers said they did not know how many people might be trapped in the rubble. Search efforts continued through the night.
News reporters said 35 people were working on the building when it collapsed. People passing by on the street might also have been caught up in the falling debris, these reports said.
Television pictures showed extensive damage as rescue workers frantically sifted through rubble in search of survivors.
A distraught woman identified by Globo television as the mother of one of the workers buried under rubble was seen imploring firefighters to locate her son.
Officials said the two-story building for a chain of clothing stores called Torra Torra had been under construction for three months.
The cause of the accident was not known but an investigation is under way.
Such accidents involving buildings under construction or old and poorly maintained edifices occur frequently in Sao Paulo, Brazil’s economic capital and most populous city.
Home to 11 million people, this sprawling metropolis is one of 12 Brazilian host cities for next year’s World Cup.