In the early morning hours of Sunday, Jan. 27, 232 people perished in a nightclub fire in Santa Maria, Brazil. The fire is one of the deadliest nightclub fires in the world and it could be the deadliest on record in Latin America.
The nightclub fire erupted around 2 a.m. after a band used flares during their performance on stage which set the ceiling on fire, according to investigators. The club called Kiss, which holds a capacity of 1000 to 2000 people, was filled with about 900 young partygoers. The first death toll estimates came in at 90 and have risen to 232 with 200 injured. Authorities are expecting the death toll to rise.
Here’s a look at the deadliest nightclub fires in Latin America.
Deadly nightclub fires in Latin America
The Brazil nightclub fire bares a striking similarity to the fire that killed 193 people and injured 700 in Buenos Aires, Argentina on Dec. 30, 2004—a result of a flare thrown from the crowd. After the ceiling and roof caught fire, club-goers were trapped inside when the nightclub’s emergency exits were blocked, reports La Tercera.
Faulty pyrotechnics used in a performance at an awards ceremony at Factory nightclub in Quito, Ecuador on April 19, 2008, were behind the nightclub fire that killed 15 and injured 35.
In Mexico City, 22 people were killed and 24 were injured in a nightclub fire on Oct. 20, 2000, when propane gas canisters were said to have exploded at Lobohombo, a well-known after hours club. Many of the victims were trampled to death, reports the Independent.
Two years later on July 20 in Lima, Peru, 29 people were killed and 100 were injured in a nightclub fire caused by a fire show put on by bartenders at the upscale club called Utopia. In this case, the club had a capacity of 400 but was filled with 900 to 1000 people, according to the Associated Press.
That same year on Dec. 1, 47 people were killed at La Guajira nightclub in Caracas, Venezuela. The estimated 400 people at the nightclub rushed toward the exit when smoke began filling the club housed in the basement of Hotel Venezuela. Investigators said the fire may have been caused by faulty electrical wiring.
Video footage of the Brazil nightclub fire
(Warning: Graphic images)