UPDATE: More than 230 left dead following pyrotechnics disaster at Brazilian club, three arrested

January 28, 2013 by Cassie Whitt

UPDATE: More than 230 left dead following pyrotechnics disaster at Brazilian club, three arrested

[Photo: Tarsila Pereira / AFP/Getty Images]

UPDATE: January 28 at 1:26 p.m. EST
According to Reuters, members of the band's crew who have been detained have been identified as "Vocalist Marcelo de Jesus dos Santos and production engineer Luciano Bonilha, who police believed were responsible for firing the flare, were taken into custody, according to Brazilian media."

Five members of the band left the club unharmed. However, accordion player, Danilo Jaques, died at the scene.

You can view a slideshow depicting the damage via NBC News.

UPDATE: January 28 at 12:44 p.m. EST
New reports from the AFP have surfaced announcing that three arrests have been made following deadly fire. Two members of band Gurizada Fandangueira including the lead vocalist and one other have been temporarily detained along with one of the Kiss Club's owners, Elissandro Sphor. 

According to the Daily Beast, concert-goers also report having been blocked from the exit by security guards demanding "they settle their bills before leaving." 

The club has also now been reported by firefighters to have been operating under an expired safety license since August with faulty sprinkler systems, lacking necessary emergency exits and with a fire extinguisher that was not operational.

Since the original report, the death toll has been reduced to 231, hospitalized to 100. 80 of the hospitalized are said to be in serious condition.

ORIGINAL POST: January 27 at 8:23 p.m. EST
The Washington Post reports that more than 230 (NME reports 233) people were left dead and 117 injured in what they say "appeared to be the world’s deadliest nightclub fire in more than a decade," following a disasterous pyrotechnics mistake during band Gurizada Fandangueira's set at Kiss club in Santa Maria, Brazil at approximately 2 a.m. today.

Quoting survivor Michele Pereira, the Washington Post says, "'The band that was onstage began to use flares and, suddenly, they stopped the show and pointed them upward,' she said. 'At that point, the ceiling caught fire. It was really weak, but in a matter of seconds it spread.'"

Authorities say that most of the victims died from smoke inhalation as they attempted to leave the club, which was believed to have been over capacity and had only one exit.

Dr. Paulo Afonso Beltrame, a professor at the medical school of the Federal University of Santa Maria says, "Large amounts of toxic smoke quickly filled the room, and I would say that at least 90 percent of the victims died of asphyxiation...The toxic smoke made people lose their sense of direction so they were unable to find their way to the exit. At least 50 bodies were found inside a bathroom. Apparently they confused the bathroom door with the exit door.”

Cezar Schirmer, the mayor of Santa Maria, has declared a 30-day mourning period following the tragedy.

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