More than 230 people were killed early Sunday morning when a fire ripped through a nightclub in southern Brazil, the Associated Press reports.
According to The New York Times, the fire was ignited by a flare from a band's pyrotechnic show. Panicked clubgoers rushed for the exits, some of which were locked or initially blocked by the club's bouncers.
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“I just got out because I'm very strong,” Ezekiel Corte Real, 23, told Diario de Santa Maria, a local newspaper, according to the AP.
The Rio Times, an English-language newspaper based in Rio de Janeiro, reports that many of the died from smoke inhalation, while "scores" of people were trampled or suffocated as they tried to flee.
The club, called Kiss, is located in Santa Maria, a university city with a population of more than 275,000, according to Reuters. According to the AP, it's the deadliest nightclub fire the world has seen in over a decade.
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