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Catastrophe strikes Brazilian Nightclub

00:00 Nov/30/1999

In the weekend, tragedy struck a Brazilian nightclub, leaving a city of 275,000 people in sorrow. The disaster took place at the Kiss nightclub in Santa Maria, when a fire was ignited at around 2 a.m. The club, packed with 2,000 visitors was filled with double the legal maximum capacity. 233 concertgoers never made it out alive, 130 were hospitalized with various injuries.

„Smoke filled the place instantly, the heat became unbearable," survivor Murilo Tiescher, a medical student, told GloboNews TV. "People could not find the only exit. They went to the toilet thinking it was the exit and many died there."

The fire spread in a matter of seconds, after a misfortunate flare ignited the club’s acoustic insulation. Reportedly 90% of the victims were found at the toilet. Why? Of course, a question about pyrotechnics could be raised here. But we have learned that the Kiss license had expired in August, 2012 – and was in the process of renewal. The over-crowded venue wouldn’t have passed the safety regulations. Instead, it became the stage for the awful real-life horror movie.

The club didn’t have ignited ’Exit’ signs, and one of the two exits was closed.  To top off the unbelievable misfortunes – the security guards kept people from fleeing, as they thought these are patrons skipping out on bar tabs. After they saw flames, they knew what had happened. By now, so many people were trapped in front of the exit, they either got trampled in the stampede or passed out because of the smoke. A barrier of bodies was accumulated near the exit, with people’s phones still ringing as their loved one’s tried to reach them hoping they weren’t among the victims.

"It's the saddest, saddest day of my life," said Neusa Soares, the mother of one of those killed, 22-year-old Viviane Tolio Soares. "I never thought I would have to live to see my girl go away."

The investigation is still underway and the club management has agreed to co-operate. But one can’t help looking at the venue owners for the irresponsibility.  The improper use of pyrotechnics, no sprinklers, lack of exit signs and the negligence of the management is considered as the cause of this needless loss of lives. This is a lesson we shouldn’t be learning time and time again. Wasn't the Steve Aoki show in Madrid enough of a example of ill-advised flares? Haven't venue-owners learned from numerous similar accidents CNN reports out from the near past?

We give our condolences to the families who are suffering  because of this disaster!

Sources: Yahoo, CNN

Photo: HeyRocker

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