Two missing as fire guts Brazil’s Antarctic research station

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Pat sends this story, we are both wondering what was going on in that research station and how much of an accident was this… Wink wink .. :) – Laura

25 February 2012 Last updated at 20:29 GMT

Two missing as fire guts Brazil’s Antarctic research station

Comandante Ferraz base, on King George Island, 25 Feb 2012The Brazilian navy said the fire had destroyed the entire station

The Brazilian military says two soldiers are missing and one is injured after an explosion at its research station in the Antarctic.

The blast was caused by a fire in a machine room at the Comandante Ferraz base, on King George Island, near the tip of the Antarctic Peninsula.

The Brazilian navy said the fire had destroyed the entire station, and was still not under control.

More than 30 people were evacuated to a Chilean research station nearby.

Scientists at the Comandante Ferraz base research coastal and marine ecosystems. Around 60 people were stationed at the base when the fire broke out on Saturday morning.

Map of AntarcticaThe Brazilian research station is located on King George Island, north of Antarctic Peninsula

The Brazilian navy said the blaze started in a machine room housing energy generators.

Officials said the two missing soldiers were trying to fight the blaze, which destroyed the 2.6-sq-km (1.6-sq-mile) base.

The injured soldier is reported to be in a stable condition after treatment at Poland’s Arctowski Antarctic base.

Thirty researchers, an official from the Brazilian Environment Ministry and a mountaineer were taken by helicopter to Chile’s Eduardo Frei Antarctic station.

The Comandante Ferraz base was equipped with research laboratories, dormitories, a large-scale kitchen, a library, and technical installation used by expedition boats.

An investigation is under way to establish the cause of the blaze.

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