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Police Say Band Cost-Cutting Most Likely Caused Nightclub Blaze

Written by Mike Hohnen on January 30, 2013

You’d think that if you were the sort of band putting the lives of your fans at risk during every performance, you would see to it that you used nothing but the safest and best materials, but local police have now discovered that the band at the center of the tragic Kiss Nightclub inferno in Brazil did the exact opposite.

According to AP, Inspector Marcelo Arigony explained to the media today that the band Gurizada Fandangueira knowingly purchased subpar flares to be used for their performance. The pyrotechnics used on the night were strictly for outdoor purposes only, but at $1.29 a pop they were far more appealing than the indoor ones, which cost $35 each.

“The flare lit was for outdoor use only, and the people who lit them know that,” said Arigony. “They chose to buy those because they were cheaper than those that can be used indoors.” The inspector, who lost a cousin in the blaze, added, “The pyrotechnics were part of their show – the guys even wore gloves onstage so they wouldn’t burn their hands.”

The Rio Grande do Sul state forensics department has today raised the death toll to 234. 120 people remain in hospital where they are being treated for a mix of smoke inhalation and burns, with dozens in critical conditions.

The fire started at around 2:30 on the Sunday night. At that time there was around 1200 to 1300 people in the venue, which could only legally contain 700.

On top of that, the insulating material located in the roof, which was ignited by the flare, was made from a highly combustable material and it’s believed it served as more of a soundproofing device than proper insulation. Once on fire, the material filled the venue with a toxic smoke.

Under Brazilian law, no charges can be filed until the police investigation is complete, which could take up to 30 days, though Arigony has vowed to investigated every single aspect from organisers to city officials. 4 arrests have so far been made, including the singer of the band, the venue’s co-owners and head of security.

The band’s guitarist, Rodrigo Martins, has spoken to Globo TV, explaining all hell broke loose only minutes after the show began. “I thought I was going to die there,” Martins said. “There was nothing I could do, with the fire spreading and people screaming in front.”

Most of those who died were young students from the area. It was discovered that many died on account of smoke inhalation rather than burns.

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