At least 233 people were killed in the nightclub fire in southern Brazil on Sunday after a band's pyrotechnics show set the place ablaze
A fire broke out in a nightclub in the university town of Santa Maria, southern Brazil, killing at least 233 people according to Reuters, on Sunday, 27 January, 2013.
The fire broke out when the ceiling caught fire from the pyrotechnics sets used for the performing band went out of control. Within seconds, the nightclub was engulfed by fire and panicked partygoers were choking on fumes, people started fleeing towards crowded exits, resulting in a dangerous stampede.
Many died from the poisonous gas produced by the fire and the stampede. Dead bodies blocked the single exit and the rescue team had to use axes and sledgehammers to pound the windows in order to free the people trapped in the burning nightclub.
A local gymnasium was turned into a makeshift morgue to house the bodies of the victims where identification process was carried out. Male victims were easier to identify as compared to females victims who had lost their purses when the tragedy happened.
According to Federal Health Minister Alexandre Padhilha, most people were treated for gas poisoning in hospitals and only a few suffered from serious burns.
Click on to see pictures of the accident.
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