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Two feared dead in Antarctica blaze

Two people are missing after a fire broke out in Brazil's research station in Antarctica, the Brazilian navy said.

In an emailed statement, the navy said the fire broke out on Saturday morning in the machine room that houses the energy generators of the Comandante Ferraz station.

The website of the O Estado de S Paulo newspaper said the two missing men died in the fire. The navy's press office declined to comment.

The statement said one man suffered non-life threatening injuries and that the 44 people at the station at the time of the fire were transferred by helicopter to Chile's Eduardo Frei station.

In a second statement, the navy said efforts to extinguish the fire were suspended because of bad weather.

The firefighting crew was evacuated to the Chilean base and will return once the weather improves. No further information was immediately available.

Chile's defence minister Andres Allamand, told reporters the fire had "completely destroyed" the base. O Estado de S Paulo quoted an unnamed official of the Brazilian navy saying the same thing.

A navy spokesman said those reports were "unfounded" and that as soon as the weather improves "we will evaluate the damage the fire caused to the station's structure".

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