By CARLOS ORTEga and CARLOS A. MORALESReutersThe giant mall operator that owns a shopping mall in Sao Paulo, Brazil, is planning to sue for nearly $1.5 billion in lost revenue as a result of the massive fires that killed more than 100 people in the city’s Plaza de Cesar Chavez neighborhood, the company said in a statement.
São Paulo Mayor Ricardo M. Pereira said Monday that the fire was “a tragic and heart-breaking event.”
The mayor said the company, Brazilian mall operator Comisión Centro Brasileiro SA (CCBA), will pay for the losses through the city government, and the mall operator said it will not seek damages from anyone.
Pereira said the fire took place in a part of the city that has become the center of a deadly drug trafficking operation.
He said the city had been under curfew since July when the fires began.
The fire is among the worst in the country in recent years, with a total of at least 1,500 people killed and more than 3,000 missing.
It also was the deadliest in Brazil’s history, surpassing the July 2010 attack on the Porto Alegre military base in which more than 500 people were killed.
Comisión has been the target of protests in recent months after the city lost an estimated $1 million in revenue due to the fire, the largest municipal loss in Brazil since the 1990s.
Mall owner Comisiós said in September that it had lost $3.2 billion in the first half of the year, the last time it reported that information.
The city government is reviewing its financial statements, the statement said.