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Firefighters try to save relics as fire engulfs 200-year-old Rio museum

Updated: 2018-09-03 08:20
A fire blazes at the National Museum of Brazil in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil September 2, 2018 in this picture obtained from social media. [Photo/Agencies]

RIO DE JANEIRO — A huge fire engulfed Brazil's 200-year-old National Museum in Rio de Janeiro, lighting up the night sky with towering flames as firefighters and museum workers raced to save historical relics from the blaze.

The esteemed museum, which houses artifacts from Egypt, Greco-Roman art and some of the first fossils found in Brazil, was closed to the public at the time of the fire, which broke out at 7:30 pm Sunday local time, it said in a statement.

There were no reports of injuries, the museum said, and it wasn't immediately clear how the fire began.

Roberto Robadey, a spokesman for the fire department, said 80 firefighters were battling the blaze and that by midnight local time it was "just about under control" and should be out within a few hours.

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