Brazil club fire prompts crackdown

2013-01-31 22:40
(File, AFP)

(File, AFP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Santa Maria - Brazilian authorities inspected and shuttered night spots around the country on Thursday as part of a crackdown on unsafe public spaces after a deadly nightclub fire left 235 people dead and shocked the nation.

The action comes just a week before annual Carnival celebrations start across the country, filling streets and venues with revellers.

Inspectors in the Amazon city of Manaus have ordered the temporary closure of almost 60 bars, nightclubs and other public buildings there, the city's Em Tempo newspaper reported. Owners of the affected night spots staged a protest on Thursday outside City Hall to denounce what they said were arbitrary closures, the newspaper said.

It added that fire code irregularities have been found even inside Manaus City Hall, including faulty emergency lighting and non-functional fire extinguishers.

In Rio de Janeiro, officials said they were studying the possible closure of some of the dozens of cultural centres operated by state and local governments, including theatres, libraries and museums said to be operating with expired licenses.

Nine out of 10 municipal theatres in Rio have expired fire inspection certificates, the O Globo daily reported on Thursday. It also said two nightclubs in the Rio neighbourhood of Barra de Tijuca have been closed.

The legal status of the Kiss nightclub in the southern Brazilian city of Santa Maria has come under intense scrutiny since Sunday's blaze, with firefighters and top officials insisting they had carried out inspections in accordance with the law.

But the police inspector leading the investigation of the tragedy has said the club was so blatantly hazardous that "any child" could have seen it should not have been operating.

Police have said the blaze likely started when a band performing at the club lit a flare, which ignited flammable soundproofing foam on the ceiling. That initial error was compounded by the near-total lack of emergency infrastructure such as a fire alarms or sprinkler systems, police have said. The club also had only one working door and a faulty fire extinguisher.

Overcrowding

Kiss' co-owners and two members of the band performing when the fire started were detained earlier this week and are being held for five days as part of the police probe.

Jader Marques, an attorney representing one of the co-owners, insisted his "client's responsibility is having trusted too much in the inspectors and in those responsible for the construction".

"Hindsight is 20-20," he said, while saying public officials had signed off on the club.

Marques denied reports that overcrowding helped compound Sunday's tragedy, insisting there were only 600 to 700 people in the club at any one time.

Capacity for the 615m² nightspot stood at less than 700, though the band's guitarist told media that the space was packed with an estimated 1 200 to 1 300 people. Police have given the same estimate.

Marques insisted that any higher tallies of people at the club that night were due to club-goers cycling in and out.

Since the tragedy, victim families and local townspeople have repeatedly called for those responsible to be punished. On Wednesday, a young tagger sprayed oversized white graffiti reading "justice for all" on the façade of the club as onlookers cheered and police watched from below, Brazilian media reported.

He then escaped over neighbouring roofs, the reports said.

More than 100 people remain hospitalised, dozens of them in critical condition.

- SAPA
Read more on:    brazil
NEXT ON NEWS24X
SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
0 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
/News
 

10 ways to drive her wild!

Fill her nights with passion and drive her wild with the best sex ever!

 
 

Men24.com

Hottie of the day: Angela
10 things you should never say after sex
Guy code: Looking good for the ladies
SA surfer rides massive waves in Maui

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Magical Massinga

Spend 5 nights at the gorgeous Massinga Beach Lodge in Mozambique and only pay for 4 from R13 220 per person sharing. Includes return flights, accommodation, transfers and romantic turndown. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Up to 35% off books

Save up to 35% on the latest page-turners. While stocks last. Shop now!

20% off ALL TV Series

Choose from 1000’s of the hottest TV Series . While stocks last. Shop now!

Festive gifts!

Check out our awesome range of festive gifts to make everyone’s wishes come true. Shop now!

Seen something you like in our catalogue?

Find the perfect gift and save up to R5000 – As seen on the catalogue. Hurry and shop now!

Save up to R2100 on electronics! – As seen in the catalogue

Wishing for tech gadgets this festive? Save up to R2100 on hot tech products at kalahari.com. While stocks last. Shop now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

There is a strong desire to be unique, self sufficient, right and in control today. Your mind is fast today and you may have the...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.