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Aussie Athletes Evacuated After Fire in Rio Olympic Village

The blaze broke out where the Australian team is staying.

30/07/2016 7:12 AM AEST | Updated July 30, 2016 09:58
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A fire has erupted in the Australian team's building at Rio.

Australian athletes in Rio De Janeiro have been evacuated after a fire broke out in their building at the Olympic Games Village.

All athletes are uninjured and have returned to the accommodation after more than 100 of the team were forced to spend about 30 minutes out of the building.

Australia's Rio chef de mission Kitty told reporters in Rio that the fire started when a cigarette was thrown into rubbish in building 23 -- Australia's building in the Olympic Village.

"The emergency response plan was activated and approximately 100 athletes and officials were evacuated from an orderly and controlled manner and no-one was hurt," she said.

"The stairwells and corridors filled with smoke, but the fire was confined to the car park and no-one was injured.

"An investigation is already under way involving Rio 2016, the IOC and the AOC.

She said the situation was "not ideal at all" especially given she had been asking for days for the fire system to be tested.

"We received a certificate two days ago saying that the building did comply with fire standards," she said, adding that it wasn't appropriate for team members to be in an unsafe environment.

Chiller said the fire alarms didn't go off to alert the team to the blaze.

"What we have subsequently found is that the fire alarms had been silenced while they were carrying out maintenance on the building next door to ours," she said.

In the lead up to the incident the Australian team has complained about the state of their residence in the village, including about dirty floors, blocking toilets and leaks.

Earlier this week, Chiller said the village was not safe or ready for athletes.

"We have raised our concerns on a daily basis with the Organising Committee and the IOC, especially at the daily Chef's meeting," she said in a statement.

"We are not alone, our friends from Team GB, New Zealand and others are experiencing the same problems in their accommodation. We have been pushing hard for a solution.

"There is much work to be done at the Village and we appreciate the efforts of the IOC and the RIO Organising Committee to 'push things along' and solve the problems."

Rio mayor Eduardo Paes subsequently apologised, conceding that the building was "not in good shape".

"That was a mistake of the organisation," he said.

Meanwhile, 2 key Aussies have withdrawn from Rio due to injury.

Australia's fastest sprinter Josh Clarke and 2012 Olympics silver medalist, diver Brittany Broben, have reportedly ruled themselves out after failing to recover in time for next week's games.

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