Hundreds die in Brazilian nightclub fire
A blaze raced through a crowded nightclub in southern Brazil early Sunday, setting off a stampede that killed at least 232 people attending a university party, police and firefighters said.
It was earlier reported that 245 people perished.
It appeared to be the world's deadliest nightclub fire in more than a decade.
Witnesses said that a flare or firework lit by band members may have started the fire.
Police Maj. Cleberson Braida told local news media that the 245 bodies were brought for identification to a gymnasium in the city of Santa Maria, at the southern tip of Brazil near the borders with Argentina and Uruguay Television images showed smoke pouring out of the Kiss nightclub as shirtless, young male partygoers joined firefighters in wielding axes and sledgehammers,
pounding at windows and walls to break through to those trapped inside.
Teenagers sprinted from the scene desperately trying to find help, others carried injured and burned friends away in their arms.
"There was so much smoke and fire, it was complete panic and it took a long time for people to get out, there were so many dead,'' survivor Luana Santos Silva told the Globo TV network.
Silva added that firefighters and ambulances responded quickly after the fire broke out, but that it spread too fast inside the packed club for them to help.