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Australian Olympic Team Evacuated for Dorm Fire

  • VOA News

FILE - Australia's Olympic athletes arrive at the Tom Jobim International Airport in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, July 26, 2016.

FILE - Australia's Olympic athletes arrive at the Tom Jobim International Airport in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, July 26, 2016.

Australian athletes preparing for the Summer Olympics were briefly evacuated from their living quarters in Rio de Janeiro on Friday after a small fire broke out in the basement of the building.

The team tweeted about the evacuation Friday, saying all athletes and staff were evacuated and were fine.

Team spokesman Mike Tancred told reporters there was "a lot of smoke," but "no big drama." He said the incident was over within a half hour; he did not know the cause of the fire.

The Australian team initially refused to move into the dormitories a week ago, citing dirty conditions, blocked toilets and exposed wiring. Workers fixed the problems and the team moved in this week.

Several other national teams have complained about the housing. Italy and New Zealand said they hired workers to repair and improve their teams' apartments.

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