2 Missing After Fire at Brazil's Antarctic Base

SAO PAULO, Brazil - A fire at Brazil's research station in Antarctica left two people missing and forced the evacuation by helicopter of 44 people at the base, the Brazilian Navy said. 

The blaze broke out in the morning in the machine room that houses the energy generators of the Comandante Ferraz station, the navy said in an emailed statement.

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 to Chile's Eduardo Frei station.

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

The firefighting crew was evacuated to the Chilean base and will return once the weather improves.

Chile's Defense Minister Andres Allamand told reporters the fire had "completely destroyed" the base. 

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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