Brazilian Night Club Fire Leaves At Least 233 Dead

Most of the dead are said to be between 16 and 20 years old. 

Grizzly news this weekend as it is being reported that at least 233 people have been killed in a fire at a Brazil’s Kiss Club late Saturday night with 100 others injured after the band’s pyrotechnics set the building ablaze. Some reports estimate the death toll closer to 250.

To make matters worse, partygoers fleeing the nightclub were briefly delayed by security guards routinely charged with ensuring that bar tabs are paid, Santa Maria Police said.

Several people lost their lives after being crushed as the frantic crowd made their way towards the club’s single exit. Firefighters arriving minutes later were hampered by the pile of bodies blocking the lone exit.

"It was terrible inside — it was like one of those films of the Holocaust, bodies piled atop one another," police inspector Sandro Meinerz said. "We had to use trucks to remove them. It took about six hours to take the bodies away."

It is also believed that at least 50 club goers died in the restrooms after mistaking them for an exit. Most of the dead are said to have been on average between the ages of 16 and 20 years old.

Most of the dead apparently were asphyxiated, according to Dr. Paulo Afonso Beltrame, a professor at the medical school of the Federal University of Santa Maria who went to the city's Caridade Hospital to help victims.

Sadly, this comes right on the eve of the ten year anniversary of the Rhode Island Station Night Club fire in which Great White guitarist Ty Longley and 99 fans died after pyros went similarly out of control.

Sweeping reforms were made following that tragedy here in the US and in Canada to ensure that a similar “perfect storm” would not reoccur. Brazil meanwhile had yet to implement any sort of tangible safety laws, comparatively.

One member of Gurizada Fandangueira was also killed in the tragedy at the Kiss Club in Santa Maria. Two members of the evening’s support act are still reported missing. More than 100 remain in hospital, most suffering from smoke inhalation along with cuts and bruises.

Brazilian president Dilma Rousseff said: “We stand together at this time, and that even though there’s a lot of sadness, we will pull through.”

Police in Santa Maria said Monday they've made three arrests and are seeking a fourth person in connection with a nightclub fire.

The Zero Hora newspaper quoted lawyer Jader Marques as saying his client Elissandro Spohr, a co-owner of the club, was arrested. The paper also said two band members were arrested, although Inspector Ranolfo Vieira Junior said the arrests are for investigative purposes.

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