Lucy Jordan of The Rio Times is reporting that 245 people were killed at Kiss nightclub in central Rio Grande do Sul. Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff is on site comforting relatives of victims. In addition to the 245 people killed, 48 others were injured and are receiving medical treatment. The blaze is being blamed on a band’s pyrotechnics, which reportedly started the blaze at the nightclub in Santa Maria at 2:30 a.m. Sunday morning.
Police finished removing bodies from the scene late Sunday morning, Folha de São Paulo reported. In addition to the 245 confirmed dead by military police, 48 people are injured and receiving treatment.
Many people died after inhaling toxic fumes; and scores of people suffocated or were trampled as they fled the scene. Local media have reported that the club had only a single exit and panic spread as people tried to get out.
Firefighters had to cut a hole in the wall of the nightclub to access victims and extinguish the fire. Footage on Globo TV showed people crying outside, while firefighters knocked down walls to gain access using sledgehammers.
In 1961, 503 people died in a fire at the Brazilian Grand Circus in Niterói, Rio de Janeiro state.
Read more at The Rio Times.