The eerie sound of ringing cell phones echoed through “Kiss” nightclub in Southern Brazil early Sunday morning as rescue teams sifted through the smoke filled nightclub looking for any signs of life.
Glauber Fernandes, a reporter from CNN affiliate Band News, states, “It was really complicated scene. A lot of smoke, a lot of shoes that was left, cell phones, because everybody tried to get out of there running,” he said. “While we were there, we saw the cell phones were ringing. It was parents, friends, trying to know about what was happening and nobody was answering.”
Early Sunday morning, a fire swept through a packed nightclub after pyrotechnics used in a band’s performance sparked fire and chaos. 233 people were killed, most due to smoke inhalation and some died from being trampled. 185 victims have been positively identified.
Further investigation into “Kiss” nightclub uncovered that the club’s license expired in August and was not renewed. Also, at the time of the fire, there were about 2000 partygoers in attendance although the maximum occupancy was 1000. Survivor’s of the deadly fire also stated that once the fire broke out, security guards blocked several exits of the club, preventing people from leaving at will. That is when extreme panic ensued.
Sadly, this type of tragedy is not the first of its kind. Watch the video below for a look back at deadly U.S. night club fires in recent history. My thoughts and prayers are with everyone affected.