MEXICO, January 29 (RIA Novosti) - Brazilian police have so far arrested four people in connection with a deadly fire that killed over 230 people at a nightclub in the town of Santa Maria in southern Brazil on Sunday, Mexican media reported.
One of the owners of the Kiss nightclub, Elissandro Sphor, was put under arrest on Monday although he is currently being treated from smoke inhalation. His condition is stable, but doctors say he would need two more days to complete the treatment.
The lead vocalist of the Gurizada Fandangueira band that launched a fireworks display shortly before the fire began was taken into custody while attending the funeral of another group member, accordionist Danilo Jaques. Police also detained the band’s security chief.
Meanwhile, another owner of the nightclub, Mauro Hoffmann, handed himself in to police late on Monday for questioning.
Police said that the arrests had been made for investigative purposes, with detentions having five-day limits.
According to latest figures, the fire that broke out at the Kiss club killed 233 people, including 120 men and 113 women. Over 100 people are being treated in local hospitals with 14 of them in grave condition.
Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff announced on Monday a three-day national mourning, while in Santa Maria 30 days of mourning were declared.
The fire began on Sunday morning when the Gurizada Fandangueira band on stage of the Kiss club started a fireworks display. Thick smoke engulfed the venue after acoustic insulation caught fire. There were at least a thousand of people, most of them students of a local university, when the fire erupted.
Panic intensified when security guards locked the exit. Media reports said the guards were unaware of the blaze and tried to stop people from leaving the building without paying.
A similar incident occurred in Russia in late 2009 when a deadly fire swept through the Lame Horse night club in Perm, 1,400 kilometers east of Moscow after an indoor firework display set the ceiling ablaze, quickly filling the packed club with toxic smoke and killing a total of 156 people.