The Brazilian nightclub fire that killed 232 people on Sunday, and was caused by a firework lit onstage by the performing band, called Guizada Fandangueira.
Many of the victims will be students aged between 16-20, as they were attending a fresher’s week event. Most victims died from inhaling toxic fumes, by trying to escape from the Kiss nightclub’s single exit, which is situated in the southern city of Santa Maria.
“The band that was onstage began to use flares and, suddenly, they stopped the show and pointed them upward. At that point the ceiling caught fire. It was really weak but in a matter of seconds it spread,” witness Peira told local reports.
“There was so much smoke and fire, it was complete panic and took a long time for people to get out, there was so many dead,” survivor Luana Santos Silva told the Globo TV network.
Silva added that firefighters and ambulances responded quickly after the fire broke out, but that it spread too fast inside the packed club for them to help.
There has been a lot speculation as to whether there should be more health and safety guidelines for live events, during 2011 there was a huge devastation when a huge storm swept into Belgium’s Pukklepop music festival, leading to the deaths of 5 people when the stage collapsed, as well as a 100 people injured. The festival organisers and festival goers were not prepared for the strong storm that led to the tragedy, with the festival eventually being cancelled.
The tragedy of these large capacity events, with Pukklepop having a capacity of up to 180,000 people, puts a doubt on the future events, with live events they need to take more precaution when it comes to the health and safety of people’s lives.
With the Brazilian Kiss nightclub, even though it had a much smaller capacity it was over crowded
After the fire was extinguished at the Brazilian nightclub, bodies were ferried by truck to the gymnasium. Fire department officials will issue a detailed report after a full investigation.
Brazilian police have arrested two members of the band as well as the nightclub’s owner, Elissandro Sphor, was also detained by police over the blaze, Ms Sphor’s lawyer told local media.
The band’s guitarist Rodrigo Martins said “The fire might have happened because of the sputnik, the machine we used to create a luminous effect with sparks”. It’s harmless; we never had any trouble with it”.
Police have also issued an arrest warrant for another owner of the club.
Graduate Multimedia Journalist, Online Editor at CIO UK and contributing writer at Culturefly and Contact Music.