News / Americas

Brazil Mourns Dead from Massive Fire

Family members and friends stand around coffins containing the remains of victims after the bodies were identified at a gymnasium in Santa Maria city, Rio Grande do Sul state, Brazil, January 27, 2013.
Family members and friends stand around coffins containing the remains of victims after the bodies were identified at a gymnasium in Santa Maria city, Rio Grande do Sul state, Brazil, January 27, 2013.
TEXT SIZE - +
VOA News
Brazilians are mourning the loss of 232 people killed early Sunday in a fire that swept through a nightclub in the far south of the country.  More than 100 people were injured in the disaster.

Brazilian officials say the club was crowded with with university students in the city of Santa Maria when the blaze broke out.  Survivors say a band member lit a flare or firework and launched it toward the ceiling, setting the building ablaze within minutes.

Many of the victims were suffocated or trampled as panicked revelers pushed and shoved to escape the building through what survivors say was the only unlocked exit.

As the country mourns, Brazil canceled an event Monday scheduled for the capital, Brasilia, marking the 500-day countdown to its hosting of the 2014 World Cup.

The disaster comes at a time Brazil is trying to show the rest of the world it is prepared to host the World Cup next year, and the Olympics in 2016.

  • Relatives and friends mourn at the coffin containing the remains of a fire victim at a gym where bodies were brought for identification in Santa Maria city, Rio Grande do Sul state, Brazil, January 27, 2013.
  • A man stands around coffins containing the remains of victims after the bodies were identified at a gymnasium in Santa Maria city, Rio Grande do Sul state, Brazil, January 27, 2013.
  • Police inspect the entrance of the Kiss nightclub in Santa Maria city, Rio Grande do Sul state, Brazil, January 27, 2013.
  • A crowd stands outside the Kiss nightclub during a fire inside the club in Santa Maria city, Rio Grande do Sul state, Brazil, January 27, 2013.
  • Injured people lie on the ground outside the Kiss nightclub in Santa Maria city, Rio Grande do Sul state, Brazil, January 27, 2013.
  • A man carries an injured victim of a fire at the Kiss club in Santa Maria city, Rio Grande do Sul state, Brazil, January 27, 2013.

Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff cut short a visit to Chile early Sunday to return home following the fire.

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon says he is saddened to learn about the tragedy and is especially moved that so many young people and students were killed.  He says he sends his condolences to their families.

Santa Maria is a major university city with a population of about 250,000.  The city is on the southern tip of Brazil near the borders with Argentina and Uruguay.

The fire is among the deadliest ever in a nightclub.  A blaze in China in 2000 killed 309 people and one in 2004 in Buenos Aires killed 194.

Some information for this report was provided by AP and AFP.

You May Like

Video Pope Francis Hopes Dual Canonizations Will Reconcile Church

John the XXIII and John Paul II will be made saints in a ceremony at St. Peter’s Square on April 27 More

Thailand Reacts to Plots Targeting Israelis

Authorities hope arrest of two Lebanese suspects will disrupt plot to attack young Israeli tourists More

Video In Capturing Nature's Majesty, Film Makes Case for Its Survival

'Once Upon a Forest' takes viewers deep into heart of tropical rainforest More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: José Aleixo from: Brazil
January 28, 2013 8:31 AM
From now on, I think brazilian officials should ban the use of special effects related to flares or fireworks inside nightclubs. The risks are very high and consequences are the worst as we can see in Santa Maria.
Here, my condolences!

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Pope Francis Hopes Dual Canonizations Will Reconcile Churchi
|| 0:00:00
...
 
🔇
X
Jerome Socolovsky
April 22, 2014 4:14 PM
On April 27, two popes - John the XXIII and John Paul II - will be made saints in a ceremony at St. Peter’s Square. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky says the dual canonization is part of the current pope’s program to reconcile liberals and conservatives in the Roman Catholic Church.
Video

Video Pope Francis Hopes Dual Canonizations Will Reconcile Church

On April 27, two popes - John the XXIII and John Paul II - will be made saints in a ceremony at St. Peter’s Square. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky says the dual canonization is part of the current pope’s program to reconcile liberals and conservatives in the Roman Catholic Church.
Video

Video In Capturing Nature's Majesty, Film Makes Case for Its Survival

French filmmaker Luc Jacquet won worldwide acclaim for his 2005 Academy Award-winning documentary "March of the Penguins". Now Jacquet is back with a new film that takes movie-goers deep into the heart of a tropical rainforest - not only to celebrate its grandeur, but to make the case for its survival. VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports.
Video

Video Boston Marathon Bittersweet for Many Runners

Monday's running of the Boston Marathon was bittersweet for many of the 36,000 participants as they finished the run that was interrupted by a double bombing last year. Many gathered along the route paid respect to the four people killed as a result of two bombings near the finish line. VOA's Carolyn Presutti returned to Boston this year to follow two runners, forever changed because of the crimes.
Video

Video Pacific Rim Trade Deal Proves Elusive

With the U.S.-led war in Iraq ended and American military involvement in Afghanistan winding down, President Barack Obama has sought to pivot the country's foreign policy focus towards Asia. One aspect of that pivot is the negotiation of a free-trade agreement among 12 Pacific Rim nations. But as Obama leaves this week on a trip to four Asian countries he has found it very difficult to complete the trade pact. VOA's Ken Bredemeier has more from Washington.
Video

Video Robotic Mission Kicks Up Lunar Dust

A robotic mission to the moon was deliberately crashed onto the lunar surface late last week, but not before scientists had collected data gathered by the spacecraft which was designed to self-destruct. VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports on the preliminary findings of the craft, called LADEE - an acronym for Lunar Atmosphere and Dust Environment Explorer.
Video

Video Boko Haram Claims Responsibility for Bombing in Nigerian Capital

The Nigerian militant group known as Boko Haram has claimed responsibility for a bombing in the capital on April 14th that killed 75 people. In the video message, Abubakar Shekau, the man who says he ordered the bombing, says nothing about the mass abduction of more than 100 teenage girls, most of whom are still missing. Heather Murdock has more for VOA from Abuja.
Video

Video Ukraine Developments Hang Over Obama Trip to Asia

President Barack Obama's trip to Asia this week comes as concerns over Beijing's territorial ambitions are growing in the region. Those concerns have been compounded by Russia's recent actions in Ukraine and the possibility that Chinese strategists might be looking to Crimea as a model for its territorial disputes with its neighbors. VOA's Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video Autistic Adults Face Housing, Job Challenges

Many parents of children with disabilities fear for the future of their adult child. It can be difficult to find services to help adults with disabilities - physical, mental or emotional - find work or live on their own. The mother of an autistic boy set up a foundation to advocate for the estimated 1.2 million American adults with autism, a developmental disorder that causes communication difficulties and often social difficulties. VOA's Faiza Elmasry reports.
AppleAndroid

More Americas News

Russia Expels Canadian Diplomat

Reports say first secretary's expulsion in Moscow is in retaliation for deportation of Russian military attache from Russian Embassy in Ottawa
More

Photogallery Fans Pay Tribute to Gabriel Garcia Marquez in Mexico City

Colombian Nobel laureate author died in Mexico on Thursday at age 87
More

Venezuelan Protesters Burn Leaders in Effigy

Hundreds take to streets of Caracas Easter Sunday demanding ‘resurrection of democracy; President Maduro’s image among those burnt
More

Audit Finds US Housing Aid Program in Haiti Falls Short

Results show post-earthquake USAID program has delivered only a quarter of planned number of homes at nearly twice the budgeted cost
More

Mourning, Memories in Garcia Marquez's Languid Hometown

Nobel Prize-winning author's early years in Aracataca inspired characters, tales for major novel
More

Powerful Earthquake Rattles Mexico

US Geological Survey says quake measuring 7.5 on Richter scale, was centered in the western state of Guerrero, north of Acapulco beach resort
More