More than 230 people were killed in a nightclub in south Brazil early Sunday morning, when a fire ignited by a flare from a band's pyrotechnic show raged through the building, the Associated Press reports.
The club, which is called Kiss, is located in Santa Maria, a university city of about 275,000 people, according to Reuters. The AP notes that it is the world's deadliest nightclub fire in more than a decade.
WARNING: GRAPHIC VIDEOS BELOW
Television images showed smoke pouring out of the Kiss nightclub as shirtless young men who had attended a university party joined firefighters using axes and sledgehammers to pound at windows and walls to free those trapped inside.
Guido Pedroso Melo, commander of the city's fire department, told the O Globo newspaper that firefighters had a hard time getting inside the club because "there was a barrier of bodies blocking the entrance."
“I only got out because I am strong,” said Ezequiel Corte Real, 23, according to The New York Times.
Videos showing firefighters battling the blaze and responders tending to the injured have emerged, giving a glimpse of the chaos at the scene.
Warning: Videos Contain Graphic Content