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Police are investigating what happened over the weekend during a fire at a night club in Brazil. An astonishing 230 people were killed during the blaze, where partygoers were fighting through the smoke, trying to find an exit. Police say there was a stampede to the exit, with the path being blocked by many of the dead bodies.
The fire was the deadliest in a decade to take place at a night club. It appears to have been started by a flare lit by one of the band members in the city of Santa Maria.
The Kiss nightclub is the place where the fire occurred, and some of the men who attended the party helped firefighters work through the blaze to get people out. They had to use sledge hammers to break through walls to get to stranded patrons at the deadly scene.
Guido Pedroso Melo, commander of the city’s fire department, said that “there was a barrier of bodies blocking the entrance.”
Others were traumatized, since the fire spread so fast that they barely had a chance to get out of the club. It appears that the flares used by the band set the ceiling on fire, which then spread to a larger fire that made the scene into a dangerous one.
“There was so much smoke and fire, it was complete panic, and it took a long time for people to get out, there were so many dead,” survivor Luana Santos Silva told the Globo TV network.