Artifacts representing 11,000 years of history were destroyed in a recent fire that gutted Brazil’s National Museum in Rio de Janeiro. Over 20 million pieces from fields such as zoology, paleontology, and geology were consumed, including Egyptian mummies and historic artwork.
Flames from an as of yet unknown cause obliterated a scientific institution some consider the most important one in Latin America. The building, known to be vulnerable to fire, had just received approval for $5,000,000 in renovations which would have included an upgrade to the fire prevention system. While battling the fire, firefighters found two hydrants which didn’t have enough pressure to work properly, forcing the crews to draw water from a nearby pond.
Reports conflict about whether or not the building had a sprinkler system or working smoke alarms, but even those who say there was a fire sprinkler system say it was inadequate to do its job.