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Raw video: Kiss Nightclub fire in Santa Maria, Brazil kills at least 245 people.

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Local newspaper coverage

AP:

A fire swept through a crowded nightclub in southern Brazil early Sunday, killing at least 245 people and leaving at least 200 injured, police and firefighters said.

Police Maj. Cleberson Braida told local news media that the 245 bodies were brought for identification to a gymnasium in the city of Santa Maria.

That toll would make it one of the deadliest nightclub fires more than a decade.

The cause of the fire is not yet known, officials said. Officials earlier put the death toll at 180.

Civil Police and regional government spokesman Marcelo Arigoni told Radio Gaucha earlier that the total number of victims is still unclear and there may be hundreds injured,

The newspaper Diario de Santa Maria reported that the fire started at around 2 a.m. at the Kiss club in the city at the southern tip of Brazil, near the borders with Argentina and Uruguay.

Rodrigo Moura, whom the paper identified as a security guard at the club, said it was at its maximum capacity of between 1,000 and 2,000, and partygoers were pushing and shoving to escape.

Ezekiel Corte Real, 23, was quoted by the paper as saying that he helped people to escape. “I just got out because I’m very strong,” he said.

“Sad Sunday”, tweeted Tarso Genro, the governor of the southern state of Rio Grande do Sul. He said all possible action was being taken and that he would be in the city later in the day.

Santa Maria is a major university city with a population of around a quarter of a million.

A welding accident reportedly set off a Dec. 25, 2000, fire at a club in Luoyang, China, killing 309.

At least 194 people died at an overcrowded working-class nightclub in Buenos Aires, Argentina, in 2004.

A blaze at the Lame Horse nightclub in Perm, Russia, broke out on Dec. 5, 2009, when an indoor fireworks display ignited a plastic ceiling decorated with branches, killing 152

A nightclub fire in the U.S. state of Rhode Island in 2003 killed 100 people after pyrotechnics used as a stage prop by the 1980s rock band Great White set ablaze cheap soundproofing foam on the walls and ceiling.

Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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Comments - Add Yours

  • VanMan

    And it will probably be the same things yet again: overcrowding, locked/blocked/obstructed exits, flammable decorations or finishes, delay in notifying FD, no training for staff, no sprinklers, maybe some bribery…

    Jesus, will we EVER learn?!?

    The Station, Beverly Hills Supper Club, Cocoanut Grove, Rhythm Club…

    WHEN will we start holding club owners responsible for their actions???

  • CLT_Ff

    This is unacceptable! Every bit of this is preventable from educational awareness for club attendees to fire code enforcement. This is a complete failure on many fronts…following the Rhode Island tragedy, I can’t believe this happened again. Brazil is hosting the next Summer Olympics, right?

  • cappy

    Fire sprinklers….. NFPA 13…. they should look into it…..

    We know the solution to this problem that is effective 99 percent of the time…

    Yet theses types of target hazards go unsprinklered year after year.

  • Fire21

    We like to think of ourselves, especially in the western hemisphere, as being civilized. Until we learn to take care of each other, and that includes commercial establishment owners and operators, we will always be lacking in civility. These things don’t need to happen. There have been enough to teach us how to live.

    There’s an old saying: “If the student didn’t learn, then the teacher didn’t teach”. Sometimes the student just doesn’t pay attention!

  • Pagonff23

    Dave, not sure if you got the update, but the fears are realized. Just read a story on cnn that pyrotechnics and soundproofing foam, overcrowding, and one exit could be the likely cause, nothing confirmed heres the story. http://www.cnn.com/2013/01/28/world/americas/brazil-nightclub-fire/index.html?hpt=hp_t3

    It’s the station all over again.