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In southern Brazil, relatives and friends of more than 200 young people killed in a nightclub fire have gathered in the city of Santa Maria to reclaim their bodies.

They were taken to a community gymnasium for identification.

Police said the band on stage set off a flare that ignited insulation material in the ceiling. It spread in seconds causing a scramble for a way out.

The fire was at a party organised by students from the Federal University of Santa Maria.

Professor Neri Paniss said: “Many of them were students from my university. They’re not only going to be missed now at this moment of loss, but each day forward.”

Police have arrested one of the owners of the Kiss club and two members of the band. Reports in local media said the club’s fire certificate expired last year.

It is the worst nightclub fire in the world for a decade, and has touched all corners of this vast country.

The eyes of the world are on Brazil’s safety credentials, with the World Cup football and the Olympics coming up.

The nation is in three days of mourning.

Copyright © 2014 euronews

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