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Brazilian Nightclub Fire Tragedy Should Be Instructive ( 2nd update)

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At the end of January, over 200 people were killed in a Brazilian nightclub fire. The club, named Kiss, was the scene of the death of many college aged adults who were simply stuck as the fire killed them. Reviewing the initial information it looks like:

  • The front door may have been locked.
  • That there were 2000 people in a building with a capacity of 1000.
  • That security wouldn’t allow everyone to leave because there were drinks that were still on tabs and unpaid for.
  • That there weren’t proper alarms, fire equipment, and sprinkler systems to deal with the fire.

Col. Adilomar Silva, the regional coordinator of civil defense, told reporters the fire started on acoustic insulation inside the club. Most of those killed are believed to have died of smoke inhalation. There are also signs that others were trampled by the panicking crowd.

Hopefully, this event will be used to make other clubs safer. It also should be a reminder for people on vacation and spring break that they may not be in places that are safe. Know where the exits are and don’t put yourself in a position where you can’t get out.

Update: On followup the Huffington Post reported:

Little has been done to improve the safety of public gathering places since a nightclub fire killed 242 people earlier this year in southern Brazil, relatives of the victims said Wednesday.

The relatives met in Brasilia to discuss what safety measures have been adopted in Brazil since the Jan. 27 fire that destroyed the Kiss nightclub in the city of Santa Maria.

“Almost nothing has been done to improve the safety of nightclubs,” said Adherbal Alves Ferreira, whose 22-year-old daughter, Jennefer, perished in the fire. “We need more vigorous laws and demand they be followed and obeyed.”

On the one year anniversary the Huffington Post reported:

Yet as Brazil marks the anniversary Monday of the deadly blaze at the Kiss nightclub, almost nothing concrete has been done at any level of government to improve fire safety or improve enforcement of existing fire codes across the country.

 

As always in these tragedies, our thoughts go out to the families and friends of those who were killed. It is always so sad when these things need to happen to teach lessons.