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Family members and local residents gathered Sunday (January 27) to mourn the victims of a nightclub fire killed at least 200 people were killed in a nightclub fire in southern Brazil.

The fire began in the early morning after a band’s pyrotechnics allegedly show set the building ablaze, and fleeing patrons were unable to find the emergency exits, local officials said.

Bodies were still being removed from the Kiss nightclub.

The victims died of asphyxiation or from being trampled,.

Television footage showed people sobbing outside the club, while shirtless firefighters used sledge hammers and axes to knock down an exterior wall to open up an exit.

President Dilma Rousseff cut short a visit to Chile and was returning to Brazil following the blaze, her spokesperson said.

The disaster recalls other incidents including a 2003 fire at a nightclub in West Warwick, Rhode Island, that killed 100, and a Buenos Aires nightclub blaze in 2004 that killed nearly 200. In both incidents, a band or members of the audience ignited fires that set the establishment ablaze.


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