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Published On: Sun, Jan 27th, 2013

Fire at Gurizada Fandangueira show in Brazilian nightclub leaves as many 245 dead

A fire that swept through a crowded nightclub in southern Brazil early Sunday appears to be the deadliest in more a decade.

A fire at Kiss, a nightclub in Santa Maria, Brazil, has killed at least 232. The cause of the blaze is still under investigation.

fire at Brazil nightclub death tollThe death toll may be as high as 245, as reported by the LA Times.

“There are so many bodies that we couldn’t get all the way to the back of the nightclub,” Lieutenant Moisés da Silva Fuchs told local media, referring to the now-destroyed Kiss club in Santa Maria, near the Uruguayan and Argentine borders.

The country awoke to troubling images of firefighters and civilians pulling people from the smoking building, and the news has shocked the country.

A tearful President Dilma Rousseff announced she had canceled plans to attend a summit in Chile and would be traveling instead to Santa Maria.

“I’d like to tell the population of our country, and of Santa Maria, that we are all together in this moment,” Rousseff said.

About 2,000 people were inside the club when the fire broke out — double the maximum capacity of 1,000, said Guido de Melo, a state fire official.

Investigators have received preliminary information that security guards stopped people from exiting the club, he told Globo TV.

“This overcrowding made it difficult for people to leave, and according to the information we have, the security guards kept people from leaving the building,” he said.

The fire started “from out of nowhere” on a stage at the club and quickly spread to the ceiling, witness Jairo Vieira told Band News.

“People started running,” survivor Luana Santos Silva told Globo TV. “I fell on the floor.”

Another survivor, Michele Pereira, told the Folha de S. Paulo newspaper that she was near the stage when members of the band lit flares that started the conflagration.

“The band that was onstage began to use flares and, suddenly, they stopped the show and pointed them upward,” she said. “At that point, the ceiling caught fire. It was really weak, but in a matter of seconds it spread.”

Guitarist Rodrigo Martins told Radio Gaucha that the band, Gurizada Fandangueira, started playing at 2:15 a.m. “and we had played around five songs when I looked up and noticed the roof was burning”

“It might have happened because of the Sputnik, the machine we use to create a luminous effect with sparks. It’s harmless, we never had any trouble with it.

“When the fire started, a guard passed us a fire extinguisher, the singer tried to use it but it wasn’t working”

He confirmed that accordion player Danilo Jacques, 28, died, while the five other members made it out safely.

Photo: screenshot video coverage: http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=G25iA0rDe9I#!

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About the Author

- Writer and Co-Founder of The Global Dispatch, Brandon has been covering news, offering commentary for years, beginning professionally in 2003 on Crazed Fanboy before expanding into other blogs and sites. Appearing on several radio shows, Brandon has hosted Dispatch Radio, written his first novel (The Rise of the Templar) and completed the three years Global University program in Ministerial Studies to be a pastor. To Contact Brandon email [email protected] ATTN: BRANDON

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