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Funerals begin for victims of Brazil's club fire

Funerals begin for victims of Brazil's club fire
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In southern Brazil, the process of burying the dead from the Santa Maria nightclub fire disaster has begun.

More than 230 young revellers perished at the party. At least 20 witness have told investigators that the blaze was triggered when the band on stage set off pyrotechnics.

Earlier at a community gymnasium, relatives and friends of the dead came to identify the bodies.
The smoke and fumes had proved more of a killer than the flames.

Witness said that bouncers blocked the exits at first, because they thought the youngsters were trying to dodge paying their bar bills.

Professor Neri Paniss from the Federal University of Santa Maria 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.”

A fourth man is being questioned by police. Now the club’s two owners and two members of the band are in custody. There are no charges yet. Prosecutors say investigators have five days.

Reports in local media said the Kiss club’s fire certificate expired last year.

More than 80 people are in hospital, 30 of them in a serious condition.

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

Already, some of the relatives are asking how authorities allowed such an event to go ahead.

The nation is in three days of mourning.