245 People Perish, More Than 200 Injured In Deadly Nightclub Fire In Brazil [Video/Pics]


Video And Pics After The Jump


BRASILIA, Brazil (AP) — A deadly fire swept through a crowded nightclub in southern Brazil early Sunday, killing at least 245 people attending a university party and leaving at least 200 injured, police and firefighters said. It appeared to be the deadliest nightclub fire in more than a decade.


Witnesses said that a flare or firework lit by band members may have started the fire.


Police Maj. Cleberson Braida told local news media that the 245 bodies were brought for identification to a gymnasium in the city of Santa Maria, at the southern tip of Brazil near the borders with Argentina and Uruguay.


Television images showed smoke pouring out of the Kiss nightclub as shirtless, young male partygoers joined firefighters in wielding axes and sledgehammers, pounding at windows and walls to break through to those trapped inside. Teenagers sprinted from the scene desperately trying to find help — others carried injured and burned friends away in their arms.


"There was so much smoke and fire, it was complete panic and it took a long time for people to get out, there were so many dead," survivor Luana Santos Silva told the Globo TV network.


Silva added that firefighters and ambulances responded quickly after the fire broke out, but that it spread too fast inside the packed club for them to help.



The death toll is rising in the Brazilian nightclub fire as firefighters search the charred remains of the establishment.(Photo: Agencia RBS, AFP/Getty Images)


Michele Pereira, another survivor, told the Folha de S. Paulo newspaper that she was near the stage and that the fire broke out after band members lit flares.


"The band that was onstage began to use flares and, suddenly, they stopped the show and pointed them upward. At that point the ceiling caught fire. It was really weak but in a matter of seconds it spread," Pereira said.


Civil Police and regional government spokesman Marcelo Arigoni told Radio Gaucha earlier that the total number of victims is still unclear and there may be hundreds injured. Officials earlier said 180 were killed.


Rodrigo Moura, identified by the newspaper Diario de Santa Maria as a security guard at the club, said it was at its maximum capacity of between 1,000 and 2,000, and partygoers were pushing and shoving to escape.


Ezekiel Corte Real, 23, was quoted by the paper as saying that he helped people to escape. "I just got out because I'm very strong," he said.



Relatives of victims react to news of the fire at a nightclub in Santa Maria, Brazil on Sunday.(Photo: Lauro Alves, AFP/Getty Images)


The fire led President Dilma Roussef to cancel a series of meetings she had scheduled at a summit of Latin American and European leaders in Chile's capital of Santiago, and was headed to Santa Maria, according to the Brazilian foreign ministry.


"It is a tragedy for all of us. I am not going to continue in the meeting (in Chile) for very clear reasons," she said.


"Sad Sunday", tweeted Tarso Genro, the governor of the southern state of Rio Grande do Sul. He said all possible action was being taken and that he would be in the city later in the day.


Santa Maria is a major university city with a population of around a quarter of a million.


A welding accident reportedly set off a Dec. 25, 2000, fire at a club in Luoyang, China, killing 309.


At least 194 people died at an overcrowded working-class nightclub in Buenos Aires, Argentina, in 2004. Seven members the band were sentenced to prison for setting off the blaze.


A blaze at the Lame Horse nightclub in Perm, Russia, broke out on Dec. 5, 2009, when an indoor fireworks display ignited a plastic ceiling decorated with branches, killing 152


A nightclub fire in the U.S. state of Rhode Island in 2003 killed 100 people after pyrotechnics used as a stage prop by the 1980s rock band Great White set ablaze cheap soundproofing foam on the walls and ceiling.


Source: Associated Press

AP News Coverage




Raw AP footage




Brazil nightclub fire: footage of aftermath in Santa Maria (In Portuguese)




Al Jazeera English news coverage




CNN coverage









Pic Sources: USA Today and CNN

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Comment by SonGetWrec on January 27, 2013 at 3:19pm
ROFL!!! You been talkin' that same bullsh*t since the Playoffs and where did it get the BALTIMORE RAVENS? That's right. SUPER BOWL XLVII. You are just all kinds of STUPID aren't you? LMFAO!!!
Comment by Continue on January 27, 2013 at 3:15pm
@skycrash your my dad? Pay my child support b****
Comment by Continue on January 27, 2013 at 3:15pm
The performing band was not named and it sounded like something the wu tang group would do. They talk about killing, this is right up there ally. @songetwrec I hope ray Lewis get an heart attack and die on the first play, biotch
Comment by Ric Caro on January 27, 2013 at 3:13pm
Hahahahaha you guys are soofunny, hatergonna hate
Comment by skycrash.com on January 27, 2013 at 3:12pm
@cuntinue...your a funny n****..did your mom tell you iam ur dad.
Comment by skycrash.com on January 27, 2013 at 3:10pm
@continue..ok iam gona stop crying like a b****..lolz...but next time be wise before you type the name of a hip hop group in the same subject of mass victims.moron!
Comment by SonGetWrec on January 27, 2013 at 3:07pm
CUNTinue is f*cking MORON. How in the hell do you pull WU TANG CLAN into this? Jesus Christ. Some people shouldn't be allowed to access the internet.
Comment by Continue on January 27, 2013 at 3:01pm
@skycrash shut your emotional a** up b****, do u see me talking about the victims? The fire was because the performing band had flares and started the fire, so stop crying to dumbass. I don't have family brazil, and my people would not be in a crowded as party, I stop going to parties in high school, that's for lames. Cry baby a** bithch
Comment by lion king on January 27, 2013 at 2:55pm
@Goblin Perish have more than one meaning and the correct way to be said is perished in the past tense form. Dumbass
Comment by Jackie Hall on January 27, 2013 at 2:26pm

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