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Brazil marks anniversary of deadly nightclub fire
January 28, 2014, 6:20 am

People gather to mourn for the victims of a nightclub fire in central Santa Maria, Brazil, on Jan. 28, 2013 [Xinhua]

People gather to mourn for the victims of the nightclub fire in central Santa Maria, Brazil, on Jan. 28, 2013 [Xinhua]

Brazil on Monday marked the anniversary of the deadly fire that broke out at the Kiss nightclub with hundreds of protestors calling for the legal process to be expedited in the case.

The nightclub fire on 27th January last year killed 242 people and injured more than 600 in the university town of Santa Maria.

Families and friends of the victims demonstrated outside the local public prosecutor’s office on the first anniversary of the tragedy, calling for speedy justice.

Two of the nightclub’s owners and two Gurizada Fandangueira band members face negligent homicide charges, but are free pending trial. The court has yet to decide whether the accused will be tried with a full jury or not.

Protesters hung 242 white balloons on the front gate of the office building and painted 242 body silhouettes in front of the abandoned Kiss nightclub.

Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff said on Twitter on Monday, “one year later, the sadness is still alive in our hearts.”

Police said the blaze started when the singer of a band held a firework close to the ceiling, which then caught fire.

Insulation foam used in the club caught fire and spread toxic fumes through the packed venue. The club only had one door  and was described by the investigators compiling the report as a “grotesque safety failure”.

Local fire department and town hall officials shared the blame for issuing the club’s fire permit


Source: Agencies

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