Brazil Nightclub Fire Caused By Outdoor Flares, Police Say

The Brazil nightclub fire that killed more than 230 people may have been caused by outdoor flares used by the band inside the club.

The conclusion came from Brazil’s police. Police inspector Marcelo Arigony explained:

“The flare lit was for outdoor use only, and the people who lit them know that. They chose to buy those because they were cheaper than those that can be used indoors.”

Al Jazeera reports that members of the band acknowledged that they regularly opt for less expensive flares. Outdoor flares cost just $1.25 each while indoor ones cost $35.

The revelation from police also came as the Rio Grande du Sol state forensics department raised the death toll from the nightclub fire to 234 from 231.

Three hospitals in Santa Maria, as well as one in Porto Alegre, are currently handling the survivors of the fire. More than 120 people are still in the hospital. They are suffering from burns and smoke inhalation. Dozens of those who are injured are still in critical condition.

Yahoo! News notes that Arigony, who lost his cousin in the Brazil nightclub fire, added:

“The pyrotechnics were part of their show — the guys even wore gloves onstage so they wouldn’t burn their hands.”

The police believe that a spark from the outdoor flare caught the club’s ceiling on fire. It was covered in insulating foam made from a combustible foam. The club’s fire extinguisher failed, allowing the blaze to spread through the packed club. The Brazil nightclub had no alarm or sprinkler system and only had one entrance.

Arigony added that the fire extinguisher wasn’t legal and the club’s operating license had expired in August. He also stated that an analysis of the foam is ongoing.

No charges have been filed in the Brazil nightclub fire because the country’s law requires the investigation to be complete before they can file anything. Prosecutors expect to file manslaughter charges.