Hundreds Dead in Brazil

Outside the Kiss nightclub (courtesy of Globo TV)

Early Sunday morning at the Kiss nightclub in Brasilia, Brazil, members of the band Gurizada Fandangueira were playing a gig for students of the local university’s agronomy department.

Things were going well until several band members lit flares and held them over their heads. The soundproofing along the ceiling caught fire and within minutes, toxic smoke and fire filled the venue.

In a panic, people rushed for the exits in a stampede of confusion and, eventually, asphyxiation. Some mistook the bathroom door for the exit and found themselves trapped. Others clawed through the bodies of choked and burned victims only to fall victim to the blaze themselves.

By the time the smoke cleared (no pun intended, of course), 232 people were dead and another 117 were being treated at local hospitals. And if you’re the type of person who enjoys superlatives, then chalk this up as the world’s deadliest nightclub fire in a decade.

This certainly isn’t a record you want to hold, but is also isn’t one you want to see broken anytime soon (or ever) for that matter.

Although the investigation into this terrible tragedy is still underway, some facts have come to light.

As you might expect, the club was filled to its 2000-person capacity, making it very difficult for party goers to escape. Some even believe it was filled beyond capacity, but I haven’t heard for sure yet.

The nightclub after the blaze (courtesy of The Daily Star)

Dr. Paulo Afonso Beltrame arrived at the scene later and estimated that 90% of the victims died from asphyxiation, specifically related to smoke inhalation. From what I understand, this is like choking on hot cinders that essentially cook you from the inside out. Pretty gruesome way to die, if you ask me.

It’s also not clear at this time if any of the band members were among the dead. If any survived, though, I wouldn’t be surprised to see them charged with some kind of reckless negligence. Using flares in an enclosed, tightly packed, alcohol-soaked nightclub? Give me a break.

Stay tuned to your international news sources for more about this terrible story as it develops. In the meantime, though, please keep the families of the victims, as well as the survivors, in your thoughts and prayers.

Posted on January 27, 2013, in Perspectives and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 8 Comments.

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