One dead, several injured as fire torches El Salvador finance ministry building

A Salvadoran army helicopter flies over the ministry of treasury building during a blaze in San Salvador, El Salvador.

A major fire broke out in El Salvador’s Finance Ministry on Friday killing at least one person, injuring 22 and prompting some inside to jump from the building before the blaze was extinguished, officials said.

A 57-year-old woman died, emergency services chief Jorge Melendez said, while another woman, who officials had previously said was dead, was resuscitated in hospital and remains in serious condition.

Melendez said the cause of the fire was not known.

Earlier, Salvador Sanchez Ceren, El Salvador’s President, had said two people died, with 22 people injured.

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Video pictures 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.

Emergency services spokesman Carlos Fuentes said a few people had also jumped from the fifth and sixth floors of the burning building, suffering injuries.

About 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 emergency services, said there was no one left trapped in the building.

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