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
- NFL MNF: Pittsburgh Steelers 30, Houston Texans 23 [PHOTOS]
- 2014 MLB World Series Game 1: San Francisco Giants 7, Kansas City Royals 1 [PHOTOS]
- 2014 MLB World Series - Game 2: Kansas City Royals 7, San Francisco Giants 2 [PHOTOS]
- NFL Thursday Recap - Denver Broncos 35, San Diego Chargers 21: Peyton Manning Has 3 TDs In Easy Win [PHOTOS]
Join the Conversation
- Ebola Virus Might Reach Australia in Months; Health Dept Says Australia Prepared For Outbreak
- Woman, 40, Charged after Six Baby Corpses Found in Canada U-Haul Locker
- Six English Words Which Originated From Arabic
- ISIS Educates Young Children in 'School of Jihad,' Deploys Them in Active Combat After Graduation [VIDEO]
- Seven Weird Things Banned by Governments
- Xiaomi Redmi 1S vs. Sharp Aquos Crystal – Specifications, Features And Price Showdown
- ASUS Releases A Teaser Indicating The Arrival of New Zenfone and ZenWatch On October 28
- Boy Stoned To Death For Alleged Rape, Victim Receives Dowry From Militants
- Three Dual SIM Samsung Galaxy Note 4 Duos Variants Comes To China
- Russia is Creating Underwater Combat Robots to Protect its Arctic Territories
- Update HTC One M7 with LG G2 with Android 4.4.2 as Sprint OTA: Fixes and Installation
- Verizon Motorola Droid Turbo Leaked Live Images Surfaces, Scheduled To Get Unveiled On Oct 28