At least 233 people have died in a fire at a club in Brazil after a band's pyro display set the venue on fire.
Many died in a crush as people tried to escape through the only working fire exit, and other through smoke inhalation or the blaze itself. Most were aged between 16 and 20 years old.
Sparks from the pyro effects on the stage set soundproofing alight on the ceiling, filling the club with toxic smoke.
"Smoke filled the place instantly, the heat became unbearable,
" survivor Murilo Tiescher, a medical student (via Reuters
). "People could not find the only exit. They went to the toilet thinking it was the exit and many died there.
So many people died in a crush at the exits that they created a barrier which survivors had to clear through so they could escape. Shirtless firefighters, devastated at the loss of life, used sledgehammers and axes to knock through an exterior wall to open up an an exit.
A series of safety failures appear to have put the 1,000 club attendees in danger, which itself may exceed its safe legal capacity.
Brazil is now a country in mourning, and has cancelled an event to mark 500 days until the start of the 2014 World Cup which they will host.