Devastating Pictures of Brazil Nightclub Fire; Death Toll Touches 233 [PHOTOS]
By IBTimes Staff Reporter | January 28, 2013 8:55 PM EST
A deadly fire ripped through a nightclub in Brazil early Sunday, killing at least 233 people and leaving 117 hospitalised.
The incident took place at the Kiss nightclub in the southern city of Santa Maria. Most of the victims were students of the Federal University who organized a party there the night before.
The fire started when a member of band playing let off fireworks on stage. The fire quickly spread to the ceiling and around filling the whole place with smoke.
Local fire officials said that the panicked partygoers ran towards the only exit but were stopped from leaving by bouncers who thought they wanted to escape without settling the bills at the bar. They later relented after seeing the ceiling on fire.
Reports said that most of the victims choked to death after inhaling the toxic fumes, while some were caught in the stampede.
"Smoke filled the place instantly, the heat became unbearable," survivor Murilo Tiescher, Reuters reported survivor Murilo Tiescher, a medical student, telling GloboNews TV.
"People could not find the only exit. They went to the toilet thinking it was the exit and many died there," the survivor added.
Authorities were said to have found around 50 bodies in the restroom alone, said reports.
The bodies of the deceased were kept for identification in a local gymnasium. Around 185 were identified so far.
Television footages showed people sobbing outside the club and firefighters breaking down walls to rescue those trapped inside.
Brazil President Dilma Rousseff on Sunday cancelled her trip to Chile, where she was scheduled to attend the Latin American-European summit, and paid a visit to the survivors in the hospital.
Calling out for solidarity, Rousseff said, "I would like to say that the population of this country and the population of Santa Maria, at this time of sadness, we are together," The Telegraph reported.
In the wake of Sunday's tragedy, a three-day mourning period was declared all over Brazil while Santa Maria will observe thirty days of mourning. The countdown event for the 2014 football world cup which was to take place in Brasilia on Monday was also postponed.
The funeral ceremony for the victims is scheduled to take place in the University town of Santa Maria on Monday.
To contact the editor, e-mail:
Most Popular Slideshows
- Derek Jeter With The New York Yankees Through The Years [IN PICTURES]
- George Clooney And Amal Alamuddin's Wedding In Venice: Photos Of Groom And His Family, Friends [Slideshow]
- NFL Recap - Week 4: Green Bay Packers 38, Chicago Bears 17 [PHOTOS]
- Melanoma Could Be Caused By Ageing Genes; Best Diet For Anti-Ageing; Celebrities Who Have Aged Gracefully
Join the Conversation
- Kate Middleton And Prince William Have Chosen The Name Of Their Second Child- Details
- Hoax Alert: 'Ebola Vaccine Only Works on White Skin' Viral Story Not True
- Local Syrians Have Mixed Reactions To US Airstrikes Against ISIS; Opposition 'Suspicious'
- Melbourne Wakes Up To Anti-Terror Raids: Seabrook Man Arrested For Funding Terrorist Organisation
- Gunman Killed In Brisbane Shoot-out On Live TV
- Forget Nexus 6 Release Date, Android Phones Will Soon Showcase Pure Google Apps & Features
- Galaxy Note 4 Pre Order Starts in the US, Get Samsung Note Ahead of October 14 Release
- $249.99 Motorola Moto 360 Smartwatch's First Promo Out; 'Stone Leather' Replaces 'Gray Leather' - Available In BestBuy [Watch Video]
- BlackBerry Passport Sold Out As Preorders Reached 200,000
- iPhone 6 vs Moto G 2014: Motorola’s Budget Smartphone Takes On Apple’s Premium Smartphone
- iOS 8 And iOS 8.0.2 Security Flaw Revealed, Anyone Can Easily Bypass Touch ID And Passcode Security Features
- Australia Cracks Down On International Money Laundering Syndicate