The Associated Press reports 233 people pronounced dead after a massive fire overtook the crowd during a late night rock and roll show in Santa Maria, Brazil last night, Sunday, January 27th. Many of the victims were students and fans of a local band, Gurizada Fandangueira.
The Kiss nightclub was set ablaze during Gurizada Fandangueira’s pyrotechnic latent performance. The band’s pyrotechnic machine, Sputnik seemed to have ignited the soundproofing on the ceiling of the stage, according to the band’s guitarist, Rodrigo Martin. He also expressed to a local radio show that he and his band mates had never had a problem with the machine before after using it at several shows.
Many of the club goers lost their lives due to locked exits, causing panic. Several of the victims died of smoke inhalation, and firefighters were hindered from entering the club due to several deceased bodies blocking the entrances.
This horrific incident is one of the worst nightclub fires since the 2003 tragedy in Rhode Island at a Great White live show, which caused 100 people to lose their lives. RIP to those deceased and we extend our condolences to the families of lost ones.
NY Times published a gallery of this unfortunate incident.
Photo Credit: Germano Roratto/AFP/Getty Images