Brazil · Disasters

Kiss Nightclub fire

January 27, 2013
Rio Grande del Sul, Brazil
A fire breaks out at the Kiss Nightclub in Santa Maria, killing 242 and injuring 630 or more

A fire was started when an illegal firework, not intended for indoor pyrotechnics, was set off during a concert. The fireworks set fire to the acoustic foam in the ceiling, which created a panic.

The stampede caused by the panicking patrons added to the confusion, and the lack of signs for fire exits as well as insufficient exits in general caused approximately 150 to be crushed at the doors as they attempted to flee. The inability to safely get everyone out of the building was also partially due to being filled over maximum capacity by hundreds of people.

The majority of those who died had done so by smoke inhalation rather than burns. At least 180 bodies were recovered from the bathrooms where most had perished from smoke inhalation, either trying to hide, trying to escape through a bathroom window, or because they had mistaken the bathrooms for exits.

The victims were mostly younger, as nightclub patrons usually are, and the majority of those slain were between 18 and 30.

Due to the irresponsible behaviors of the nightclub owners not adhering to the maximum capacity and the neglect of proper emergency exit procedures, and the band for using illegal pyrotechnics in ways counter to their intended use, two owners and two band members were charged with manslaughter.

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