Brazil in mourning, after 232 charred to death in nightclub fire
Santa Maria, Brazil: More than 232 people are said to have perished in the ‘Kiss nightclub’ fire. A band's pyrotechnics show set the building ablaze, causing the partygoers to cramp the exit.
The fire started from the ceiling and spread throughout the enclosure within seconds. At least one exit of the club was locked. The bouncer tried to block the fleeing people, as they thought those fleeing were trying to skip out on bar tabs.
Some people confused restrooms doors for exit as they tried to make their way out.
Bodies of the dead and injured were strewn in the street and panicked screams filled the air as medics tried to help.
The fire officials encountered a "barrier of dead bodies" on the exit of the club. They had to clear the entrance first and only then could reach others to save them.
The rescue officials had little to do as most of the people died within seconds after inhaling the poisonous smoke.
The nightclub has a capacity of 2,000 people and on the day of the fire was filled with 500 people.
Rescuers described the scene a "horror flick" as scores of people charred to death as they tried to escape.
The vast majority of the victims, most of them university students, died from asphyxiation