Santa Maria, Brazil – A nightclub fire in the early hours of Sunday morning has claimed the lives of at least 245 people.
The regional coordinator of civil defense explained that a fire in the Boate Kiss nightclub’s acoustic insulation resulted in the blaze. A pyrotechnics display was taking place at the time the blaze started. According to Gawker, officials haven’t confirmed what caused the fire.
Many of the people who died during the fire at the nightclub in Brazil are believed to have succumbed to smoke inhalation. Others were reportedly trampled to death as they attempted to flee the burning building. It’s currently believed the club did not have the exits properly marked.
CNN reports that at least 245 people were killed during the deadly blaze. Firefighters told state media outlets that the death roll is likely to rise. An exact number of those who were injured during the fire has not been released.
Witnesses explained that the fire started out of nowhere. Before it could be properly contained, the blaze spread to the ceiling. People outside of the club said smoke was billowing out of the doors.
Several people explained that the club erupted into chaos as the fire began to spread. Since the exit were not properly marked, many had a hard time finding their way out of the building. Firefighters reportedly used axes to break through the club’s walls.
According to the Los Angeles Times, a security guard at the nightclub said the venue was filled to capacity. He explained that anywhere between 1,000 and 2,000 people were inside the building when the blaze started.
One person who escaped the club said he was only able to do so because he was very strong. The man stayed behind to help others to safety.
An investigation into the nightclub fire in Brazil is currently underway.