Australian athletes were robbed at the Olympic village after being evacuated because of a fire

Kitty Chiller, Chef de Mission for Australia at the 2016 Rio Olympic village. Photo: Yasuyoshi Chiba/ AFP/ Getty Images.

The Australian Olympic team had uniforms and a laptop stolen from their rooms during a fire evacuation at the Olympic village in Rio.

Australia’s chef de mission Kitty Chiller unknowingly saw three people leaving with Australian shirts — designed to combat the Zika virus — but thought they were fire officers.

As well as the team shirts, a laptop belonging to a cycling coach was stolen and IT equipment had also been “rifled through”.

“There is no CC-TV in the village,” Chiller said. “At the time I did not know [who they were]. They were not team members. I did not know then whether they were volunteers who were given shirts because they helped to evacuate us.”

“[It] is concerning. When you have got 15,000 beds, there are a lot of people walking around the village. I’m not accusing anybody but there are a lot of non-accredited workers, cleaners, housekeepers, maintenance workers still walking around.

“Unfortunately in an area of that size with the number of buildings and rooms that there are, theft is going to be inevitable.”

Security personnel has been increased to four private guards on the entrance doors and more identity checks.

Around 100 athletes and officials were evacuated after the fire broke out in a car park rubbish bin. A cigarette is believed to be the cause, despite the village being a non-smoking venue. No one was injured.

It also emerged that the fire alarms at the accommodation had been silenced while workers conducted maintenance on an adjacent building.

Chiller said the fire was discovered because of smoke in the corridors and stairwells.

“We hadn’t been advised that the fire alarms were silenced,” she said.

The incident follows an accommodation debacle last week, when Chiller said the Olympic village rooms were “uninhabitable” and did not pass a “stress test” standard.

Problems included blocked toilets, leaking pipes, exposed wiring and inadequate lighting.

The athletes moved in a couple of days after she complained and the issues were resolved.

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