According to media reports, the fire engulfed the entire central building and firefighters dispatched to the scene desperately battled the raging flames.
There is a fire at the National Museum of Brazil in Rio de Janeiro.— Pan Prezes (@PrezesPan) 2 сентября 2018 г.
Let's believe that all collections will be saved.#BreakingNews #PanPrezesNews #NightNews from @paula2ag!
Foto: Reproduction / TV Globo pic.twitter.com/DFGapPQIzH
According to the Globo TV Broadcaster, there was no immediate information on potential deaths or injuries. The National Museum's press service told local reporters that no one was injured and four security staffers had been evacuated in time. However, eyewitnesses claim there can be no chance to rescue many pieces of the priceless collection.
Today Brazil is mourning the fire of the National Museum. Part of our culture died in this incident due to lack of investment, because the most important is carnival and parties.— Isabella, or Shira. #Olheiras a mil (@IsabellaShira) 3 сентября 2018 г.
This is the real Brazil. pic.twitter.com/4MSKbFLs3A
"This is a tragic day for Brazil," Brazilian President Michel Temer said in a statement quoted by AFP. "Two hundred years of work and research and knowledge are lost." The director of the National History Museum told Globo TV that "this is a cultural tragedy."
According to the vice-director of the National Museum, Luiz Duarte, the institution had suffered from years of neglect under numerous governments, Reuters reported.
"We never got anything from the federal government… We recently finalized an agreement with (state-run development bank) BNDES for a massive investment, so that we could finally restore the palace and, ironically, we had planned on a new fire prevention system," Luiz Duarte told Globo TV as quoted by Reuters.