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27th January 2013

Tragedy in Brazil as nightclub fire claims at least 231 lives

No official cause given but it is believed the band's pyrotechnics may have caused the fire

Brazilian authorities have confirmed that 231 people died early today after fire swept through a nightclub in southern Brazil. The fire occurred at the Kiss club in Santa Maria, 300 kilometres west of the state capital, Porto Alegre.

The official cause of the tragedy is not yet known but it is reported that the fire may have been caused by a band's pyrotechnics display. The fire is reported to have broken out around 2 a.m. local time Sunday.

Many people were trampled in the tragedy but reports say that the main cause of death was asphyxiation from the smoke.

Reports suggest that there were several school parties going on in the club which was filled with people due to the impending Carnival season.

The club can holds approximately 2,000 people but it is unclear how many people were in the club, early reports suggest about 500. Reports claim that he club only had one exit door with firefighters using sledge hammers and axes to knock down an exterior wall to open up an exit.

Hundreds of people were taken to hospital and a temporary morgue set up in a local gym.

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