Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Brazilian Nightclub inferno started by outdoor flares purchased by band to save money; missing security camera images explained

The Associated Press reports that Brazilian Inspector Marcelo Arigony said, at a news conference Tuesday, that members of the band Gurizada Fandangueira deliberately purchased outdoor flares for use in their Kiss Club indoor stage show because they cost only $1.25 a piece, compared to $35 a piece for indoor flares.
     Arigony, whose cousin died in the fire, added: "The pyrotechnics were part of their show - the guys even wore gloves onstage so they wouldn't burn their hands."
     ...The Rio Grande do Sul state forensics department raised the death toll Tuesday from 231 to 234 to account for three victims who did not appear on the original list of the dead. Authorities say more than 120 people remain hospitalized for smoke inhalation and burns, with dozens of them in critical condition.
     Arigony pledged to investigate everyone involved in the tragedy - including the authorities charged with making sure such establishments are up to code, such as firefighters and city officials.
Other problems:
  • Security cameras hadn't worked in months and the PCs that stored footage from them were dropped off a week ago at a computer repair shop
  • 1200-1300 people in a club with a capacity of under 700
  • Toxic-when-burned insulation foam was not proper soundproofing equipment
  • No alarm or sprinkler system at club and only one working exit
  • Malfunctioning and illegal fire extinguisher at club
  • Club's operating license expired about 5 months before fire
  • 50 people died in bathrooms because the only lights in the dark club were coming from there, and clubbers mistook them for exits 

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