SANTA MARIA, Brazil — There was no fire alarm. There were no sprinklers or fire escapes. And when a band member tried to put out a fire that had been started by pyrotechnics, the extinguisher didn’t work.
All the elements were in place for the tragedy at the Kiss nightclub early Sunday. The result was the world’s worst fire of its kind in more than a decade, with 231 people dead and this southern Brazilian college town in shock and mourning.
Funerals began on Monday, as reports continued to emerge about the accumulation of neglect and errors at the packed nightspot.
According to state safety codes here, clubs should have one fire extinguisher every 1,500 square feet as well as multiple emergency exits. Limits on the number of people admitted are to be strictly eenforced. None of that appears to have happened at the Santa Maria nightclub.