Over 230 people died in a nightclub in Southern Brazil early Sunday, according to the Huffington Post. This could be the “world’s deadliest nightclub fire” in over 10 years.
Frightened partygoers struggled to breathe because of the thick smoke in the club. Plus, it was difficult to exit the building because survivors were “stampeding toward a single exit partially blocked by those already dead.”
Witnesses are speculating that the flames may have started by the firework that was lit by band members.
“Television images showed smoke pouring out of the Kiss nightclub as shirtless young men who had attended a university party joined firefighters using axes and sledgehammers to pound at windows and walls to free those trapped inside.”
This incident is similar to what happened in February 2003. One hundred people died in a nightclub in Rhode Island, and the two brothers who owned that club were prosecuted.
“They received sentences that were opposed by prosecutors in a courtroom full of anguished victims’ relatives furious about the lack of a trial and about punishments they believed were too light,” according to the New York times.