233 Die In Pyro Fire At Gig

Why did hundreds of teenagers die in a fire sparked by a band's pyro effects? Read about the club's tragic failures here, and why pushing your way out of an emergency can cause disaster.

Ultimate Guitar

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.

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    Pyro effects in closed venue, how smart...
    exactly, Even Rammstein tone it down in small venues, and they're known for massive pyro displays.
    Not only that, but Till is also a licensed pyrotechnician, so they cover their bases in terms of safety. If only others were so cautious.
    just like great white
    Seriously, you could just substitute the name of the venue and the band, and it would be exactly the same story. Aren't we supposed to learn from history, so that it does not repeat itself? Maybe no on in Brazil ever heard of Great White or what happened at that gig.
    That's exactly what I thought of when I heard about this. It's so similar and sad.
    i live in Rhode Island USA now where the tragic great white incident occurred. i have driven by and stopped at what is now a makeshift memorial for the 100 who died there. clearly the sound proofing materials need to be fireproof in order to accommodate any pyrotechnics and it is extremely negligent for anyone to have allowed pyrotechnics in such a closed venue. i hope others will learn from this. they obviously didn't learn from us here in america. 233 souls lost to idiocy my heart goes out to their surviving families and friends for their great loss.
    What a tragedy. Condolences on the losses of the families. Something similar happened in 2003 at a Great White concert. People need to go through safety procedures before performing.
    I just consulted wikipedia; the death toll for Great White was 100. That's not even half of this. Really puts things in perspective.
    Danjo's Guitar
    That is a lot of people. Like a lot. Normally in these articles its like 3 dead and 20 injured. But damn, 233. I wouldn't be surprised if they banned pyrotechnics in Brazil. And honestly, they'd probably be justified. On a lighter note, why on earth is it important that the firefighters were shirtless? I kinda hope thats a typo or something.
    My biggest problem isn't with the pyrotechnics, while yes by the sounds of it those weren't safely handled either. Mt my biggest concern is that a venue with 1000 people in it only had one working fire-escape, by the sounds of it there were more than one, they were just blocked. Any venue that has a large capacity should have a number of emergency exits proportional to this. It's simple logic: More people need more fire escapes.
    I agree, only having one fire escape is a safety failure on so many levels that it's almost unreal.
    welcome to the world outside the US, public safety and such are a nightmare in other countries even some European countries and I speak from experience living there for 11 years
    I live in the UK (that's outside of the US in case you didn't know).
    I saw this on the news last night, the "shirtless firefighters" were just some of the men that got out in time and volunteered to help.
    Not a typo, that's how Reters described it. I think it helps say a lot about how hard the firefighters were working to get people out.
    Fuck I thought TWO HUNDRED AND THIRTY THREE was a typo for like 33 or 23 or something but wow 233 dead. Rest in peace. Damn. Also, maybe indoors bands should use laser shows instead of pyro.
    Apparently they hadn't heard about that Great White gig in Rhode Island a few years back.
    Horrible news. With only 1 fire escape and 1000 in the audience, how much would you bet the promoter oversold the venue to score extra cash? Greed overshadows common sense again...so sad...
    Josh Reubenking
    So sad. RIP my thoughts and condolences are with the families of those who died in this horrible tragedy.
    Poor people, and before people make assumptions that Brazil has no regulations or its a shitty 3rd world country, a large part of the clubs are as good as, if not better than British/american ones, including in terms of safety. Pyro indoors, in a venue with flammable soundproofing, is definitely a bad idea, was probably a lack of forethought, devastated at the numbers...
    I read about this in an online newspaper today. Apparently security kept people from getting out, because they hadn't paid for their drinks yet. I find this rather hard to believe, but everything is possible in our world.
    My friend was telling me today that its apparently due to how Brazil clubs sell their drinks. Instead of paying at the bar you are given a card which they hole punch everytime you buy a drink. At the end of the night you take the card out with you and get it scanned and then you pay. The bouncers wouldn't let people run out without paying.. Whether the bouncers knew there was a fire or not I don't know.
    this is so sad. anyone know who the band was? I wonder how they're holding up after all this. they may have taken some losses as well