Police have arrested an owner of the Kiss nightclub in Brazil and two band members in connection with the fire Sunday that killed 230 people, most of them students from a local university.
There are no allegations yet of public corruption but there probably will be.
Reports indicate the club in Santa Maria, a city of 250,000, may have been operating illegally in several ways.
Some of club’s infractions may have been known to regulators.
Here are some of the allegations (culled from a BBC report):
- A band member lit a flare on stage. Open flames in a public nightclub are likely against the law.
- Only one emergency exit was available for the patrons — at least 330 people were in the club when the fire broke out.
- Many victims were trapped in the club’s toilets, possibly indicating inadequate exit signage.
- Security guards may have blocked people from leaving the club, consistent with a practice in Brazil to collect tabs when a patron leaves a club.
- The club was ‘in the process of renewing its licence to operate . . . and its fire safety certificate had expired last year.’
- A band member said when the fire started above the stage, a guard handed him a fire extinguisher that wasn’t working.
The fire is among the deadliest nightclub blazes ever, according to voanews.com.
A fire in a China club in 2000 killed 309 people and another in Argentina in 2004 killed 194, the news service said.