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3 dead, 16 missing in collapse of Rio de Janeiro buildings

By Diana Renee

RIO DE JANEIRO — Rescue workers in Rio de Janeiro on Thursday recovered the bodies of three people from the rubble of three collapsed buildings, with at least 16 more people still believed to be missing.

A loud explosion was heard before the collapse, which involved a 10-story and a 20-story building. Witnesses also said there was a strong smell of gas in the area.

Streets were covered in debris, cars were buried under rubble and neighboring buildings, including the Municipal Theatre, were damaged in the incident late on Wednesday.

The collapse renewed concerns about safety in the city, which will host the Football World Cup in 2014 and the Olympic Games in 2016.

An explosion in October killed three people and wounded 13 others in a restaurant.

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