Heartbreaking: A fire at a nightclub in southern Brazil killed more than 200 people on Sunday. An official said another 200 may be injured after the fire at Kiss nightclub in city of Santa Maria, and up to 500 people may have been inside the club when the fire broke out. Many of the victims died from asphyxiation or were trampled to death. The fire started after the band’s pyrotechnics show ignited the ceiling and the blaze rapidly spread.
A fire in a nightclub killed at least 245 people in southern Brazil on Sunday when a band's pyrotechnics show set the building ablaze and fleeing patrons were unable to find the emergency exits in the ensuing panic, officials said.
The blaze in the southern city of Santa Maria was started when a band member or someone from its production team ignited a flare, which then set fire to the ceiling, said Luiza Sousa, a civil police official. The fire spread "in seconds," she said.
An estimated 500 people were in the Boate Kiss nightclub when the fire broke out early on Sunday, and many were unable to find the exits as dark smoke quickly filled the room. At least one exit was locked, trapping hundreds inside to die, many from asphyxiation as they inhaled smoke, police said.
Brazil's President Dilma Rousseff cut short a visit to Chile in order to get to the scene of the fire, and burst into tears while giving a televised statement pledging government help for the victims and their families.
The nightclub is said to be a popular party spot for college students, with Santa Maria being home to several universities.