Brazil: Services for Santa Maria nightclub fire victims

Thousands of people attended midnight Mass in Santa Maria

Related Stories

Special services are being held in Brazil in memory of the 237 people who died in a nightclub fire in the city of Santa Maria a week ago.

More than 4,000 people attended a service in Santa Maria itself on Saturday night, and a silent vigil was held in front of the nightclub, Kiss.

Santa Maria's mayor says he plans to turn the building into a memorial site.

The death toll rose to 237 on Sunday after a 22-year-old man died of injuries sustained in the fire.

More than 100 people remain in hospital. Medical kits have been flown in from the US to treat survivors who were exposed to the dangerous fumes.

Two owners of the nightclub and two band members have been arrested.

Safety concerns

Special services were held in cities across Brazil's southern-most state, Rio Grande do Sul, where Santa Maria is located.

In Santa Maria itself, people dressed in white and placed flowers and posters in memory of those who had lost their lives.

Deadly nightclub fires

  • 2009: Santika Club, Bangkok, Thailand - sparked by fireworks; 66 killed
  • 2009: Lame Horse Club, Perm, Russia - sparked by fireworks; 150 killed
  • 2004: Cromagnon Republic Club, Buenos Aires, Argentina - flare starts fire which kills 194
  • 2003: The Station, Rhode Island, US - sparked by fireworks; 100 killed
  • 2000: Luoyang dance hall fire, China - fire blamed on welders kills 309
  • 1996: Ozone Disco Club, Quezon City, Philippines - 160 killed
  • 1990: Happy Land, New York, US - arson kills 89 at unlicensed club
  • 1977: Beverly Hills Supper Club, Southgate, Kentucky - 165 killed
  • 1970: Club 5-7, Saint-Laurent-du-Pont, France - 146 killed;
  • 1942: Cocoanut Grove, Boston, US - 492 killed.

A service in their honour was also held at the foot of the Christ the Redeemer statue in Rio de Janeiro, the AFP news agency reports.

The fire is believed to have broken out after the band playing in the nightclub last Sunday set off cheap fireworks meant for outdoor use.

The flames spread quickly over the ceiling which was covered with foam for soundproofing, the BBC's Julia Carneiro reports from Rio de Janeiro.

The venue had only one exit and is believed to have been filled way over capacity, so panic ensued as people failed to find a way out, she adds.

Investigators say many lives could have been saved if regulations had been properly observed.

A safety inspection of nightclubs, restaurants and bars across Brazil has led to more than 150 temporary closures in the past week.

Brazil's Congress is set to revise legislation in an attempt to strengthen safety regulations and allay concerns ahead of the 2014 World Cup and 2016 Olympics.

Map of the location

More on This Story

Related Stories

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites

More Latin America & Caribbean stories


Features & Analysis

  • French luxury Tea House, Mariage Freres display of tea pots Tea for tu

    France falls back in love with tea - but don't expect a British cuppa

  • Woman in swimming pool Green stuff

    The element that makes a familiar smell when mixed with urine

  • People take part in an egg-cracking contest in the village of Mokrin, 120km (75 miles) north of Belgrade, Serbia on 20 April 2014In pictures

    Images from around the world as Christians mark Easter Sunday

  • Female model's bottom in leopard skin trousers as she walks up the catwalkBum deal

    Why budget buttock ops can be bad for your health

Elsewhere on the BBC

  • ITChild's play

    It's never been easier for small businesses to get their message out to the world


  • An aerial shot shows the Olympic Stadium, which is closed for repair works on its roof, in Rio de Janeiro March 28, 2014.Extra Time Watch

    Will Rio be ready in time to host the Olympics in 2016? The IOC president gives his verdict

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.