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The Aftermath of the Deadly Nightclub Fire in Brazil

(Article No. 1 – The Vincent Times)
January 30, 2013

Fire

The news about Brazil that hugged the headlines around the world over the weekend was not about its famous carnival but about an unfortunate tragedy.

More than 200 people, most of whom were young local college students, died when a fire engulfed the Boate Kiss nightclub in Santa Maria, Brazil in the early morning of Sunday (January 27).

The said fire reportedly started when the fireworks set off by either a member (or a supporter) of the band Gurizada Fandangueira malfunctioned and created flames that spread quickly to the building’s soundproofing materials that are made of foam.

The police and fire investigators established through the accounts of the survivors that a defective pyrotechnic device called “sputnik” caused the fire.

The exact number of the revelers and the casualties could not be confirmed. What is certain is that in the aftermath of this bloody incident  the following will happen: tears will fall; cries for justice will be heard; frantic investigations on the incident will be conducted; and strict regulations on safety precautions in entertainment places similar to that ill-fated nightclub will ensue.

Safety Precautions Were Disregarded

The owners of the establishment has a lot of explaining to do to the police authorities. The nightclub had only one exit , the main entrance which according to the reports was even initially locked. The investigators said that this was the reason  the escape was hampered and delayed for few precious seconds. It did not help that the guard presumed that the commotion was caused only by a fight . Thus, they closed the only exit to ensure that nobody among the revelers would leave without paying they bills.

Police investigators also found out that the club’s permits were expired.

The investigators learned also that the guards were able to get a fire extinguisher. Unfortunately, it did not work. It was at this point that the fire spread and the participants scampered to the direction of the only exit.

What worsened the accident was that the victims panicked and ended up trampling each other. They probably lacked orientation on what to do when such situation occurs.

Thorough Investigation Required

Initially, the investigation done led to the arrest of two of the owners of the establishment and two of the performers whose defective fireworks resulted to the bloody conflagration. The said owners were  Mauro Hoffman and Elissadro Spohr. The names of  the band members were not known. However, the incarceration may be just temporary pending the results of the investigations.

Survivors recounted that after the fire was ignited by the faulty fireworks, there was an attempt to put it off using a fire extinguisher which unfortunately did not work. It was at that juncture that the revelers panicked and engaged in a frantic run towards the only way out.

It seems that it is not only the owners who need to explain culpable violations in the guidelines for safety but even the authorities themselves. It must be explained why the nightclub was allowed to operate even if there were no required permits and has glaring deficiencies such as no sufficient exits.

It must be explained as well, whether or not the pyrotechnic segment of the show was not against existing  fire-safety laws.

Nightclub Fire Victims Laid to Rest

Tears fell indeed. Tears for all those who died untimely and in such a tragic fashion.  And amidst the cries of grief,  the victims of that deadly nightclub fire in Brazil were laid to rest on January 29. Reports indicated that those who attended the funeral released more than 200 balloons representing the lives lost.

Dozens more of those who were hospitalized due to severe burns and smoke inhalations are said to be in critical conditions. Their relatives could only hope that they will not be added anymore among the dead.

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