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May the victims rest in peace. May their families and loved ones get the support they need.

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Southern Brazil.

Earlier Sunday morning (2:30 AM local time) a fire swept through a night club, killing at least 232 people and injuring many more.

Apparently, the show involved some fireworks, which started the fire. Reports say the ceiling's insulating foam caught fire.

We looked at the ceiling in front of the stage and a fire was beginning. It was a friend of ours that showed us. Then we began to fall. My sister pulled me, and I was dragged across the floor

[snip]

It was a small door for many people to exit.
- 23 year old survivor [source: GloboNews]

The party involved students from the Federal University of Santa Maria, who were studying Pedagogy, Agronomy, Veterinary Medicine, Zoology and two technical courses.

Santa Maria has a population of a quarter million, with several universities.

My early take is that several factors contributed to the fire (besides the fireworks), including overcrowding, lack of emergency exits, lack of a sprinkler system and/or fire extinguishers, and perhaps a highly flammable insulating material. In the wake of this tragedy, hopefully proper oversight by fire authorities will be implemented across Brazil.

Flammable sound-proofing foam was also at play in the 2003 fire that claimed one hundred people at the Station nightclub in Rhode Island, USA.

Update: [Sunday, 13:15 EST] Story has been updated to reflect that at least 232 people died, according to new police reports issued Sunday afternoon.

Originally posted to distraught on Sun Jan 27, 2013 at 07:30 AM PST.

Also republished by LatinoKos and America Latina.

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