The latest news on the Brazil night club fire, where the death toll is at least 245, involves a video from the scene of the deadly blaze at the Boate Kiss nightclub in Santa Maria. The amateur YouTube video shows firefighters dousing the inferno as rescuers pull people outside. It’s unknown from the footage if the people were dead or alive.
According to a Jan. 27 report from CNN on the club fire, of the 245 people killed in the inferno, many perished as a result of smoke inhalation. Others died from literally being crushed by panicked crowds as people fled towards the club’s emergency exits in the dark.
“People started running. I fell on the floor,” said one survivor of the Brazil night club blaze.
Another witness said the fire began “from out of nowhere,” possibly from the stage. Moments later, it spread toward the ceiling and engulfed the club.
Video from the scene show firefighters and rescue workers struggling to put out the blaze and bring as many people to safety as possible. As one can imagine, the scene from Santa Maria was total chaos as many struggled to escape the fire, while others looked for loved ones.
Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff, clearly moved by tragedy and enormous loss of life from the nightclub fire, cut short a trip to Chile and returned to help manage the crisis.
“We are trying to mobilize all possible resources to help in the rescue efforts. All I can say at the moment is that my feelings are of deep sorrow,” she said in a televised interview about the Boate Kiss nightclub fire.
“The Brazilian people are the ones who need me today. I want to tell the people of Santa Maria in this time of sadness that we are all together,” President Rousseff added.
Police are now investigating the club’s owners to get a better idea of what took place, according to Reuters. Sources say a band member shot off a flare as part of the pyrotechnic show and it lit the ceiling ablaze. In mere seconds, the Brazil night club was on fire.
The country has come under fire recently for lack of strict standards regarding fire safety, particularly the use of posted warnings and ample emergency exits.
Several people from the scene say they struggled in the stampede to locate signs that pointed towards exits, to no avail.
Of note, officials say that at least 90 percent of those who perished in the inferno were found in men’s and women’s restrooms.
While the Brazilian nightclub fire’s death toll is 245 and expected to rise, according to some news reports, the tragedy could have been much worse.
Reportedly, the Kriss nightclub attracts as many as 3,000 people nightly during the weekends due to large numbers of university and college students nearby.