Monday, January 28, 2013
SANTA MARIA, Brazil — Brazilian police officials said today they’ve made three detentions and are seeking a fourth person in connection with a blaze that ripped through a nightclub in southern Brazil over the weekend, killing more than 230 people.
Inspector Ranolfo Vieira Junior said at a news conference that the detentions are for investigative purposes and those detained can be held up to five days.
A military brigade official said today the death toll now stands at 231 people in the early Sunday blaze in the Kiss nightclub in Santa Maria.
Police said they think pyrotechnics ignited sound insulation on the ceiling, while witnesses have reported a fire extinguisher didn’t work and that there was only one working exit.
Survivors and another police inspector, Marcelo Arigony, said security guards briefly tried to block people from exiting the club. Brazilian bars routinely make patrons pay their entire tab at the end of the night before they are allowed to leave.