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 Update: Nightclub Fire Kills 186


12-31-04
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(antiTainment) Update: 186 people died in a Buenos Aires nightclub on Thursday after a flare ignited soundproofing on the ceiling during a rock concert in the crowded club. The exit doors were locked, trapping an estimated 4000 people inside the club as it was engulfed in smoke and flames. At least 714 people were injured. 

The fire spread within minutes as people rushed to try and escape, according to survivors and eyewitnesses. Investigators found that four of the six exit doors were locked shut with wire or padlocks. 

Buenos Aires Mayor Anibal Ibarra said on Friday that the owner of the Cromagnon Republic's greed caused many to lose their lives, because the owner decided to lock a truck-sized emergency exit door as well as the other exits to prevent people from entering the club without paying the cover charge. 

"Because of greed, a lot people who could have been saved lost their lives," Ibarra said.

The nightclub permit only allows for 1,100 patrons in the building. It has been estimated that between 4000 and 6000 people were packed into the venue. 

Buenos Aires police have a warrant for the arrest of the club owner and have raided his home. 

Update: 1/1/05 - Death toll raised to 186 from 175.
 
 


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