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Chaotic scene following Brazil nightclub fire

ROUGH CUT - NO REPORTER NARRATION A fire in a nightclub killed at least 232 people in southern Brazil on Sunday (January 27). Local officials blamed a band's pyrotechnics show for the fire, and said fleeing partygoers stampeded toward blocked and overcrowded exits in the ensuing panic. Video shot in the immediate aftermath of the fire showed chaotic scenes as the injured were rushed to local hospitals. Local fire officials said at least one exit was locked and that bouncers, who at first thought those fleeing were trying to skip out on bar tabs, initially blocked patrons from leaving. The security staff relented only when they saw flames engulfing the ceiling. The vast majority of the victims, most of them university students, died from asphyxiation, officials said. Others were crushed in the stampede. An estimated 500 people were in the Boate Kiss nightclub when the fire broke out at around 2:30 a.m., police said. Witnesses said the club, which has a 2,000-person capacity, was always busy on weekends but wasn't any more crowded than usual. The death tally was lowered slightly, with police saying at midafternoon that 232 people had been killed, down from an initial figure of 245. One of the club's owners had already surrendered to police for questioning, GloboNews reported.

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