A Santa Maria, Brazil nightclub fire has claimed the lives of at least 245 people. The fire began when a flare from a band's pyrotechnics display ignited the club, which was called Kiss. According to The New York Times, the fire started in the early morning hours of Sun., Jan. 27, 2013 while Kiss was packed with university students who were there to enjoy themselves and watch the band Gurizada Fandangueira perform. One member of the band reportedly died in the blaze, which started around 2 a.m.
Panicked nightclub patrons headed for the exits after the fire started only to discover that some of the doors had been locked shut by security guards. Hundreds of bodies have been removed from the charred remains of the club. There were reportedly stacks of bodies piled up in the club's bathrooms. Many of the victims succumbed to smoke inhalation from the thick black fast-moving smoke that filled the premises during the tragic Santa Maria, Brazil nightclub fire.
The tragic Santa Maria, Brazil nightclub fire is reminiscent of the Station nightclub fire in West Warwick, R.I. that killed 100 people in February 2003. The band Great White had just begun to perform their opening song when pyrotechnics lit by their manager ignited soundproof material in the drummer's alcove. The throng of people rushing for the front door blocked the exit and trapped people inside the burning building. One member of Great White was among those who perished in the inferno. A local radio disc jockey called "Dr. Metal" also died.