Sao Paulo: At least 245 people were killed in a fire at a nightclub in southern Brazil on Sunday after a band's pyrotechnics show set the building ablaze. The club, with a capacity of accommodating 2000 people, had only one emergency exit.
In a bid to save their lives, people rushed in panic that resulted in the exit getting blocked. Many victims reportedly died from inhaling toxic fumes.
Santa Maria, at the southern tip of Brazil near the borders with Argentina and Uruguay, is a major university city with a population of around a quarter of a million. The fire appeared to be among the deadliest in a nightclub since a 2004 fire killed 194 people at an overcrowded working-class nightclub in Buenos Aires, Argentina.
Rio Grande do Sul state Health Secretary Ciro Simoni said emergency medical supplies from all over the state were being sent to the scene.
A blaze at the Lame Horse nightclub in Perm, Russia, broke out on December 5, 2009, when an indoor fireworks display ignited a plastic ceiling decorated with branches, killing 152.
A nightclub fire in the US state of Rhode Island in 2003 killed 100 people after pyrotechnics used as a stage prop by the 1980s rock band Great White set ablaze cheap soundproofing foam on the walls and ceiling.
A welding accident reportedly set off a December 25, 2000, fire at a club in Luoyang, China, killing 309.
With Additional Inputs From AP