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By Lucy Jordan, Senior Contributing Reporter

BRASÍLIA, BRAZIL – At least 232 people have died in a nightclub fire in central Rio Grande do Sul, police have said. A band’s pyrotechnics reportedly started the blaze at the Kiss nightclub in Santa Maria at 2:30 AM Saturday night.

Club Fire Kills 245 in Southern Brazil, Brazil news
A fire in a Rio Grande de Sul nightclub has killed 245 people, photo by Deivid Dutra/A Razão.

Police finished removing bodies from the scene late Sunday morning, Folha de São Paulo reported. In addition to the 232 confirmed dead by military police, 48 people are injured and receiving treatment.

Many people died after inhaling toxic fumes; and scores of people suffocated or were trampled as they fled the scene. Local media have reported that the club had only a single exit and panic spread as people tried to get out.

Firefighters had to cut a hole in the wall of the nightclub to access victims and extinguish the fire. Footage on Globo TV showed people crying outside, while firefighters knocked down walls to gain access using sledgehammers.

“It was really fast. There was a lot of smoke, really dark smoke,” survivor Aline Santos Silva, 29, told Globo TV. “We were only able to get out quickly because we were in a VIP area close to the door.”

This is the second biggest fire Brazil has seen. In 1961, 503 people died in a fire at the Brazilian Grand Circus, in Niterói, Rio de Janeiro state.

President Dilma Rousseff, who was attending the summit of Latin American countries and the European Union in Santiago, Chile, has cancelled her schedule to return to Brazil because of the blaze.

“I would like to say to the population of our country and of Santa Maria (RS) that we are all together right now,” she said, tearfully, in an interview outside her hotel in Santiago.

Rousseff said that ministers are mobilized to provide assistance to the victims and families involved in the tragedy.

Read more (in Portuguese).

* The Rio Times Daily Updates feature is offered to help keep you up-to-date with important news as it happens.

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26 COMMENTS

  1. The news is heart breaking…condolences from India….may almighty give the family and your country strength to get through this tragic time

  2. […] Jordan of The Rio Times is reporting that 245 people were killed at Kiss nightclub in central Rio Grande do Sul. Brazilian […]

  3. My condolences and the condolences of millions of Americans from the United States on the tragedy that has befallen your country. Stay strong. You are not alone in your sadness. May God Bless those lost.

  4. Brazil nightclub fire: "Security guards did not what was happening inside", eye witness-death toll 232 | Guardian Expressla | Newspaper

    […] A pyrotechnic s display at popular night club in Brazil set off a massive blaze resulting in the deaths of at least 232 revelers over the weekend, the media reported. […]

  5. How sad is to see this happening in modern age. one cannot stop asking the question of safety of the people, such as; smoke detectors and fire detectors fitted to the building before getting approved. also the building itself was it build with fire resistance materials?
    Now some one has to be responsible, but who will be this responsible?, architect? local authorities? or the users who paid the price.
    My heart goes to those who lost their life in their prime and their families. lets hope that the authorities does not allow this to happen again.

    I wish to express my deepest sympathy and express my condolences.

    Derma.

  6. My condolences to all the family and friends of those who’s lives were lost. They will not be forgotten. My thoughts and prayers to you all !! May God heal those who survived and were injured. I will keep you in my daily prayers. Hugs from the Bay Area here in California.

  7. PLEASE ACCEPT MY CONDOLENCES FROM THE DEEP OF MY HEART ON THE TRAGIC EVENT.MY SYMPATHIES ARE WITH THE NEARS AND DEARS OF THOSE KILLED IN THE INFERNO.

  8. We wish to express our deepest sympathy condolences to Brazilian People from Pakistan. Tariq Mahmood (Karachi, Pakistan)

  9. I give all my condolences to those families who lost their loved ones in this tragic accident, may You be strong and live through this hard time.
    At the same time I want to question the local fire control department why such a crowded meeting place has only An exit? shouldn’t someone be held responsible for the tragedy?

  10. My heart goes out to all the hurting families out there God understands every little heartache and pain take courage the Lord is still with you.

  11. […] hearts and thoughts are with the 231 people lost in the tragic fire in Kiss nightclub in Santa Maria on Saturday night and their families. During this time of unimaginable pain and […]

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