At Least 232 Dead After Pyrotechnics Spark Nightclub Fire

At least 232 people are dead and dozens more injured after a fire, sparked by pyrotechnics, broke out in a crowded nightclub in the city of Santa Maria, in Brazil’s southernmost state.

According to witnesses, the early-morning blaze originated on the club’s stage where a band was performing, spreading quickly and filling the room with smoke. Early reports indicate that the fire was caused when pyrotechnics used in the show ignited sound-proofing foam on the ceiling.

“We looked at the ceiling at the front of the stage and it was starting to catch on fire,” said club-goer Luana Santos Silva.

The ensuing panic was made worse as attendees converged upon the nightclub’s only main exit. Those who made it out say that  there were even attempts to break down the wall to create a route of escape.

By the time emergency crews arrived, more than 232 people had perished from smoke inhalation or in the crush with dozens more survivors rushed to nearby hospitals. Firefighters were able to quickly stop the blaze before carrying out the grim task of retrieving the dead.

Crews say burnt out nightclub was filled with sounds of victims’ cell phones ringing.

Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff has described the incident as a national tragedy.

 

  • Barry Flynn

    sad and unnecessary waste of life.