Fire Destroys Antarctic Research Base

2 killed in blaze at Brazilian station

By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff

Posted Feb 27, 2012 12:07 AM CST

(Newser) – A fire has wiped out a Brazilian research station on an island near the tip of the Antarctic Peninsula. Two soldiers were killed as they battled the blaze at the Comandante Ferraz base, which started in a machine room, the BBC reports. The station's dozens of scientists were safely evacuated to Chile. Brazilian authorities say the core of the base has been completely destroyed but they have vowed to rebuild the station, which researched marine ecosystems.

"We lost much more than equipment, we lost lives," one biophysicist said. "I lost all my research and that was one of the cheapest. Some of the research lost cost millions of dollars." The Brazilian military has confirmed that a supply barge carrying more than 2,500 gallons of fuel recently sank a mile away from the base, but it hasn't leaked, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Fire and smoke rise from Brazil's Comandante Ferraz station in Almirantazgo Bay, in the South Shetland Islands of Antarctica.
Fire and smoke rise from Brazil's Comandante Ferraz station in Almirantazgo Bay, in the South Shetland Islands of Antarctica.   (AP Photo/Armada de Chile)
Fire and smoke rise from Brazil's Comandante Ferraz station in Almirantazgo Bay.
Fire and smoke rise from Brazil's Comandante Ferraz station in Almirantazgo Bay.   (AP Photo/Armada de Chile)
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