Brazil Nightclub fire kills around 232 people

  • An accidental blaze ignited by performers apparently swept through a crowded nightclub in the small town of Santa Maria in southern Brazil early Sunday, killing at least 232 people. Hundreds of people, mostly students from nearby Federal University of Santa Maria had packed into a nightclub called Kiss to hear a popular group called Gurizada Fandangueira play. According to witnesses, around 2 am, one performer lit what they described as an emergency traffic flare or a piece of firework and waved it around to the beat. "We were in the middle of the second band, and someone started waving this artifact, doing a show, when someone yelled "It's catching fire!" said one female witness. The disaster was ranked among Brazil's deadliest fires in decades and plunged the nation into mourning.

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