January 28, 2013 18:28
Lead singer and two others arrested following deadly blaze at Brazilian club gig
The club's co-owner, head of security and a member of the band who let off pyrotechnics have been taken in by police
Gawker reports that one of Kiss's co-owners and the venue's chief of security have been arrested, alongside a member of the band Gurizada Fandangueira, whose pyrotechnics display started the fire which killed at least 233 people in the town of Santa Maria.
The police are currently looking for the other owner of the nightclub. Police have said the people have been taken in for questioning, however, it is being reported that the club's safety certificate allegedly expired in 2012, meaning that Kiss's ownership could be held responsible for the tragedy.
The fire broke out after 2am during the morning of January 27, after Gurizada Fandangueira had played five songs. The club was reportedly at double the maximum capacity of 1,000 people, and was hosting a freshers ball for the city's university, UFSM.
Most of the dead were between 16 and 20 years of age. The majority of victims died from asphyxiation after inhaling toxic fumes when the venue's acoustic insulation set ablaze.
People were also crushed as they tried to escape the venue, which reportedly only had one small exit.
Emergency services knocked through the venue walls from the streets, using axes and sledgehammers in order to save those trapped inside. 50 bodies were found in the club toilets, after apparently mistaking the bathroom door for the exit, reports AP.
A morgue was set up in a local gym, after the city's main mortuary facility was overwhelmed. Over 100 survivors are currently being treated in hospital.
Five members of Gurizada Fandangueira survived the fire, but the band's accordion player Danilo Jacques died.
The event is the world's deadliest club fire since 300 people died in a fire in a dancehall in Luoyang, China in 2000.
In 2003 at The Station in Rhode Island, North America, 100 people died when the pyrotechnics set off by the band Great White set the venue's soundproofing on fire.
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