City Officials Also Under Scrutiny in Brazil Fire
Prosecutors looking for signs of negligence
By Evann Gastaldo, Newser Staff
Posted Jan 30, 2013 1:24 PM CST
Posters, flowers, balloons and flags make up part of a makeshift memorial outside the Kiss nightclub in Santa Maria, Brazil, Wednesday, Jan. 30, 2013.   (AP Photo/Felipe Dana)

(Newser) – Prosecutors are investigating city officials over the Brazil nightclub fire that killed 235 people over the weekend, Reuters reports, in an attempt to determine whether allowing the club to operate was negligent on the part of officials, the city, or fire inspectors. The inquiry is separate from a criminal investigation into the cause of the fire, in which multiple people have been arrested. (One of the club owners who is currently in police custody attempted to kill himself yesterday.)

Investigators found that the club had only one exit, which was partially blocked, and that fire extinguishers and emergency exit lights didn't work. But inspectors visited the club last April and allowed it to keep its operating permit, leading the mayor to say he feels confident the city "fulfilled its obligation." And the fire department says that, though it was in the process of renewing the safety permit, the club was allowed to operate while waiting. However, the club did violate safety rules; for one, it did not have a permit for the type of pyrotechnics that were used.

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Showing 3 of 4 comments
Jamesd.
Jan 30, 2013 9:28 PM CST
And that is why we have codes and regulations in place... for the protection and safety of the PEOPLE! Those who disregard such safety regulations, from the owners down to the code enforcers and fire inspectors are guilty of negligence and deserve to be charged with manslaughter.
ppaca
Jan 30, 2013 7:34 PM CST
Where is Mr. Joshua when we need an on site explanation? Perhaps he does not live in Brazil (a trait of a typical liberal liar) or perhap he was at the night club (in which case we may never hear from him again). Whichever is true, we may need not ever again call him ........ Mr. Joshua.
Marelicia
Jan 30, 2013 5:32 PM CST
"But inspectors visited the club last April and allowed it to keep its operating permit, leading the mayor to say he feels confident the city "fulfilled its obligation." It sounds like the Mayor is trying to cover his butt. The Mayor knew or should have reasonably known that the nightclub's Operating Permit should have been revoked or canceled in April 2012 due to multiple fire, safety and building codes violations, and Officials, the City and Fire Inspectors may now be liable to the 235 victims and their families, civilly and criminally.