SANTA MARIA: At least two hundred people lost their lives when a fire swept through a nightclub in southern Brazilian town of Santa Maria early Sunday, Dispatch News Desk (DND) reported.
The local sources said the fire erupted around 2am at the Kiss nightclub in Andradas Street when from 500 to 2,000 people were present there. Fire brigades in the city are trying to extinguish the blaze and pulling out bodies while the regional coordinator of civil defense Col. Adilomar Silva expected the death toll to climb.
According to reports, the blaze began when a performing band started a fireworks display. Acoustic insulation caught fire, and thick smoke filled the club, causing many to die from inhaling the toxic fumes.
Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff cut short a visit to Chile, where she was attending a European and Latin American summit, to head to Santa Maria and oversee the response to the tragedy, a Brazilian official said.
It was not immediately clear what caused the blaze, but media reports said the fire broke out after 2:00 am (0400 GMT) when the nightclub was hosting a university party featuring a rock band using pyrotechnics