Monday 25 March 2013

Brazil night club fire - 16 charged

Sixteen people will face criminal charges in connection with January’s fire at the Kiss night club in Brazil – one of the deadliest night club blazes in history in which more than 240 people were killed and 600 injured.

Police said the fire started when the singer in a band held a firework close to the ceiling, and insulating foam caught fire, spreading poisonous fumes through the club in the southern town of Santa Maria.

A fire extinguisher failed to work, and investigators said there was only one exit, a situation described as a "grotesque safety failure".   Escape routes and lighting were found to be inadequate, and the club was also said to have been overcrowded.

The singer, the band's producer, the club's owners, and fire officials will be charged with negligent homicide. (See also my blog of Jan 28.)

* Another intriguing story in the Londonist’s ‘forgotten disasters’ series – the Fatal Vespers.  Or see my book – London’s Disasters: from Boudicca to the Banking Crisis P113.

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