Sunday, January 27, 2013

Brazil Nightclub Fire

Here's the banner headline at London's Daily Mail, "Security staff 'barred the doors' as desperate people tried to escape Brazil night club inferno which claimed at least 232 lives."

And at the New York Times, "Scores Dead as Fire Sweeps Through Nightclub in Brazil":

Brazil Nightclub Fire
RIO DE JANEIRO — A fire ignited by a flare from a band’s pyrotechnic spectacle swept through a nightclub filled with hundreds of university students early on Sunday morning in Santa Maria, a city in southern Brazil, killing at least 232 people, police officials said.

Health workers hauled bodies from the club, called Kiss, to hospitals in Santa Maria throughout Sunday morning. Some of the survivors were taken to the nearby city of Porto Alegre to be treated for burns. Valdeci Oliveira, a local legislator, said he saw piles of bodies in the nightclub’s bathrooms.

Col. Guido Pedroso de Melo, the commander of the city’s Fire Department, said security guards had locked exits, which intensified the panic as people in the club stampeded to the doors. One police investigator at the club, Elizabeth Shimomura, told a television news channel, “It is a scene of horror.”

Survivors described a scene of mayhem as patrons rushed for the main exit. “I only got out because I am strong,” Ezequiel Corte Real, 23, told reporters. He said he helped others escape the blaze.

The disaster in Santa Maria, which is in the relatively prosperous state of Rio Grande do Sul, shocked the country. President Dilma Rousseff canceled appointments at a summit meeting in Chile to travel to Santa Maria, a city of about 260,000 residents that is known for its cluster of universities.
Entirely senseless. You'd think at this point, in the 21st century, this kind of catastrophe would never happen. The doors were locked? Seriously?

Continue reading.

And there's lots more at the Lede, "Fire at a Nightclub in Southern Brazil."