Brazil Declares 3 Days of Mourning Over Nightclub Tragedy

Brazil Declares 3 Days of Mourning Over Nightclub Tragedy

Brazil Declares 3 Days of Mourning Over Nightclub Tragedy

Brazil has declared three days of national mourning for the 231 people killed on Saturday in a nightclub fire in the southern city of Santa Maria.

The fire reportedly started after a member of a band playing at the Kiss nightclub lit a flare on stage.

Authorities say most of the victims were students who died of smoke inhalation. The first funerals are expected to start this morning.

Brazil Declares 3 Days of Mourning Over Nightclub Tragedy

Brazil postponed a ceremony due on Monday in the capital, Brasilia, to mark 500 days to the 2014 football World Cup. In Santa Maria, 30 days of mourning were declared.

President Dilma Rousseff, who cut short a visit to Chile, has been visiting survivors at the city’s Caridade hospital along with government ministers.

“It is a tragedy for all of us,” she said.

Brazil Declares 3 Days of Mourning Over Nightclub Tragedy

Authorities have released the names of the victims, after revising down the death toll from 245.

More than 100 people were being treated in hospital, mostly for smoke inhalation.

Officials will now investigate reports that a flare was lit on stage, igniting foam insulation material on the ceiling and releasing toxic smoke.

They will also look at claims that many of those who died were unable to escape as only one emergency exit was available. It is the deadliest fire in Brazil in five decades.

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