Over 245 dead in Brazilian nightclub fire

Early Sunday morning, a deadly blaze tore through a crowded Brazilian nightclub, killing at least 245 people and leaving at least 200 more injured. According to local police and firefighters, the nightclub disaster was the result of the most lethal fire in over a decade.

Nightclub fire leaves 245 dead, hundreds more wounded

From the Huffington Post - January 27, 2013,11:09 a.m.

Early Sunday morning, a deadly blaze tore through a crowded Brazilian nightclub, killing at least 245 people and leaving at least 200 more injured. According to local police and firefighters, the nightclub disaster was the result of the most lethal fire in over a decade.

On-site recordings depict a horrifying scene at Kiss nightclub as disheveled young partygoers joined firefighters in their struggle to free those still trapped inside. Teenagers were seen fleeing from the scene, desperate for help, many others carried injured and burned friends away in their arms.

"There was so much smoke and fire, it was complete panic and it took a long time for people to get out, there were so many dead," survivor Luana Santos Silva reported this morning to Globo TV network.

Silva continued, adding that firefighters and ambulances responded as soon as the fire broke out, but that the blaze spread far too fast inside the packed club for them to help.

Michele Pereira, another survivor of the Kiss nightclub fire, told the Folha de S. Paulo newspaper that she witnessed the fire start after band members began to light flares on-stage.

"The band that was onstage began to use flares and, suddenly, they stopped the show and pointed upward. At that point the ceiling caught fire," Pereira confirmed.

Local Police and Regional Government spokesman Marcelo Arigoni spoke to Radio Gaucha earlier, stating that the total number of victims is still unconfirmed and that there still may be hundreds more injured. Officials earlier confirmed at least 180 deaths directly involved with the Nightclub fire.

Rodrigo Moura, a security guard at the Kiss nightclub, said that the venue had reached its maximum capacity of around 2,000 partygoers, all of whom were pushing and shoving in a frantic attempt to escape the burning building.

After receiving news of the tragedy, President Dilma Roussef cancelled all of the meetings she had scheduled at the summit of Latin American and European Leaders to return immediately to Santa Maria.

"It is a tragedy for all of us. I am not going to continue in the meeting for very clear reasons," she said.