Rescue teams scramble to pull people out of burning nightclub
Sunday, January 27, 2013 - 01:34
Jan. 27 - Brazilian officials say at least 245 people were killed in a nightclub fire in the southern part of the country. Deborah Gembara reports
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Bystanders joined rescue workers to pull people out of a burning night club in southern Brazil.
Officials say the blaze, which started after a band's pyrotechnics show set the building on fire, killed at least 245 people. More than 500 were inside the Boate Kiss nightclub when the fire broke out, and police say many struggled to find the exits -- one of which was locked, trapping hundreds inside. Most of the victims died from asphyxiation or were trampled to death.
The incident prompted Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff cut short a visit to Chile to return home.
SOUNDBITE: Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff saying (Portuguese)
"There's a mobilization of resources to take out the bodies, which is the main thing we can do for the victims' families at this point, and also to treat the injured as quick as possible. Rio Grande do Sul has a good public health infrastructure in that particular area, but we will also make everything they need available. I would also like to say to the Brazilian people and to the people of Santa Maria that we stand together at this time, and that even though there's a lot of sadness, we will pull through."
Stunned relatives and friends gathered outside the club. By noon on Sunday, the police reported that all of the bodies of the victims had been removed.
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