Death Toll Hits 233 in Brazil Nightclub Inferno

Fire breaks out during band's fireworks display

By Polly Davis Doig,  Newser Staff

Posted Jan 27, 2013 6:03 AM CST | Updated Jan 27, 2013 7:11 AM CST

(Newser) – A fireworks display in a Brazilian nightclub went horribly awry last night, spawning a fire that police say killed upward of 233 people, reports CNN. Police on the scene at the Kiss nightclub in Santa Maria have already removed 159 bodies, reports Reuters, and rescuers are still looking for more. "People started panicking and ended up treading on each other," the local fire chief tells the BBC, which notes that there was apparently only one exit in the facility. The number of injured is also in the hundreds; local media report that the club had a capacity of 2,000 and was believed to be full on a Saturday night.

"It was really fast. There was a lot of smoke, really dark smoke," says survivor Aline Santos Silva, 29. "We were only able to get out quickly because we were in a VIP area close to the door." The AP runs down a list of other deadly nightclub fires here.

A man carries an injured man, victim of a fire at the Kiss club in Santa Maria, Brazil, early Sunday, Jan. 27, 2013.
A man carries an injured man, victim of a fire at the Kiss club in Santa Maria, Brazil, early Sunday, Jan. 27, 2013.   (AP Photo/Agencia RBS)
Firefighters work to douse a fire at the Kiss Club in Santa Maria city, Rio Grande do Sul state, Brazil, Sunday, Jan. 27, 2013.
Firefighters work to douse a fire at the Kiss Club in Santa Maria city, Rio Grande do Sul state, Brazil, Sunday, Jan. 27, 2013.   (AP Photo/Agencia RBS)
A man carries an injured victim of a fire at the Kiss  club in Santa Maria city, Rio Grande do Sul state,  Brazil, early Sunday, Jan. 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, early Sunday, Jan. 27, 2013.   (AP Photo/Agencia RBS)
People help an injured man, victim of a fire in a club in Santa Maria city, Rio Grande do Sul state,  Brazil,  Sunday, Jan. 27,  2013.
People help an injured man, victim of a fire in a club in Santa Maria city, Rio Grande do Sul state, Brazil, Sunday, Jan. 27, 2013.   (AP Photo/Agencia RBS)
People help an injured man, victim of a fire in a club in Santa Maria city, Rio Grande do Sul state,  Brazil,  Sunday, Jan. 27,  2013.
People help an injured man, victim of a fire in a club in Santa Maria city, Rio Grande do Sul state, Brazil, Sunday, Jan. 27, 2013.   (AP Photo/Agencia RBS)
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