27 January 2013

BRASIL: 05 Feb UPDATE: Death Toll Reaches 238; Officials Shuttered 127 Clubs After Tragic Santa Maria Disco Blaze; 4 Detained For 30 More Days; Club Owner Tried Suicide.

          UPDATED facts...in Italics:

         In the wake of the tragic Santa Maria disco fire...officials have temporarily shuttered 127 clubs, restaurants and bars throughout Brasil...because of safety violations.
          Owners have 30 days to get them up to code.
          Fire officials blamed a band's use of unsafe cheap outdoor flares...for starting the tragic fire that killed 238 in Santa Maria's Kiss Disco.
          Another young man injured in the fire has died.
       Police report that a club's co-owner allegedly tried to commit suicide...while in custody.
      Forensics experts raised the death toll to 238...with hundreds injured.
      Most were college students...and 81 are still hospitalized.
      Officials say 23 are listed in 'critical condition'...with 41 still on artificial respiration.
       New victims have sought treatment...suffering from severe respiratory problems...and possible chemical pneumonia.
      Police extended their detention of 4 suspects...the Kiss Disco club's 2 owners and 2 musicians...in connection with the blaze...for 30 more days.
      A police spokesman says they will be charged with manslaughter...at least.
      Police had questioned 20 others.
      Fire inspectors found many violations...fire extinguishers that didn't work, no
emergency exits and broken security cameras.
     The cash register was also reported missing.
     Police also raided a club owner's other businesses looking for evidence...and have frozen his assets.
     Overcrowding is being explored...with perhaps some 2,000 packed into a club...allowed  just 800.
      Fire officials conclude that a band's flares set off the inferno.
      They also reported that one exit was blocked...and bouncers prevented patrons from leaving without paying their bills.
     Most club goers died from inhaling deadly fumes...or being trampled to death.
     Santa Maria is a college town in Rio Grande do Sul state...near the borders of Uruguay and Argentina.
     The club was hosting an end of summer break party.
     President Dilma Rousseff cancelled her visit at a Santiago, Chile trade summit...and flew to Santa Maria.
     She lived in Rio Grande do Sul state for over a decade.
     She also declared 3 days of national mourning for the victims. 
     It is being called the worst nightclub fire in a decade.

              IST UPDATE:

          New details in Italics/ 10 fotos

              ORIG LINK:
        Funerals and Fire stories: with 49 Fotos/ 2 videos.