World

Deadly smoke, lone blocked
exit: 230 die in Brazil

A fast-moving fire roared through a crowded nightclub in southern Brazil early Sunday, within seconds filling the space with flames and a thick, toxic smoke that killed more than 230 panicked partygoers who gasped for breath and fought in a stampede to escape.

It appeared to be the world's deadliest nightclub fire in more than a decade.

Firefighters responding to the blaze at first had trouble getting inside the Kiss nightclub because bodies partially blocked the club's entryway.

Witnesses said a flare or firework lit by band members started the blaze in Santa Maria, a university city of about 260,000 people. Officials at a news conference said the cause was still under investigation — though police inspector Sandro Meinerz told the Agencia Estado news agency the band was to blame for a pyrotechnics show and that manslaughter charges could be filed.

Post Your Say

Selected comments will be published in the Readers’ Forum page of our print newspaper.

From Our Networks