A nightclub fire in Brazil early Sunday morning has resulted in the deaths of at least 231 people. According to the New York Times, the fire, which occurred at the Kiss nightclub in Santa Maria, Brazil, apparently started when a flare from a stage performance ignited the ceiling. It is possible that the flare ignited exposed wiring, leading to the tragic nightclub fire.
Patrons at the nightclub died from fire injuries, including smoke inhalation, as well as from being trampled to death in the scramble to exit the club. In addition to the deaths, over 100 people were injured, including many in critical condition.
Some reports have indicated that security may have blocked some people from exiting the club. One of those reports said that security was making people pay their tabs before leaving. If true, the actions of the security may have led to many more lives being lost in the fire.
We have seen these types of heart wrenching nightclub fires in many different parts of the world, including the United States, often leading to mass casualty events, such as this one. Unfortunately, many nightclubs do not provide adequate exits, security, or fire prevention. When these factors are combined with poor lighting and a chaotic event, many people often scramble in different directions, sometimes only finding a locked door, leading to many people getting trampled or trapped.
This is an important reminder for all nightclubs to make sure they are following all safety codes and to properly train their staff in case of a fire or other emergency. Clubgoers should be familiar with the layout of the clubs and know where exits are, just in case of a fire, earthquake or other type of disaster. We hope that all nightclub owners and operators around the world will use this event as an opportunity to analyze their safety procedures to make sure another event like this does not occur.
Our Los Angeles personal injury lawyers handle all type of injury and wrongful death cases, including burn injury and fire death cases. Nightclub owners and operators must be held accountable, both civilly and criminally, when their negligence leads to so many unnecessary deaths.