Rio’s 200-year old National Museum hit by massive fire

A fire burns at the National Museum of Brazil in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil September 2, 2018. REUTERS/Ricardo Moraes

BRASILIA (Reuters) – A 200-year-old museum in Rio de Janeiro was hit on Sunday by a massive fire, images from television station Globo showed, threatening its collection of more than 20 million items ranging from archaeological findings to historical memorabilia.

According to Globo’s website, there was no information yet on potential deaths, injuries, cause of the fire or extent of damage at Rio’s Museu Nacional.

The fire broke out after visiting hours and was still raging and appeared to be growing Sunday night.

Representatives from the fire department did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The museum, which is tied to the Rio de Janeiro federal university and the Education Ministry, was founded in 1818. It houses several landmark collections including Egyptian artefacts and the oldest human fossil found in Brazil.