SANTA MARIA, Brazil (AP) — According to a Brazilian newspaper, two members of a band that was onstage when a fire broke out in a nightclub over the weekend have been detained. The band is believed to have used pyrotechnics that ignited sound insulation in the ceiling.
The newspaper (Zero Hora) quotes a lawyer as saying a co-owner of the club has also been detained. Police say they're seeking a fourth person in connection with the blaze.
A military brigade official says the death toll now stands at 231. Many of the victims were under 20 years old, including some minors.
A guitarist who was in the band told a radio station that when the fire began, a guard handed the group a fire extinguisher, but it didn't work. He confirms that one band member died, while the other five made it out safely.
Police say the band member who died had initially escaped, but was killed after going back inside the burning building to save his accordion. They say the other band members made it out alive because they were the first to notice the fire.
073-a-16-(Todd King, survivor of the 2003 Rhode Island nightclub fire, in AP interview)-"a bit shocking"-Rhode Island nightclub fire survivor Todd King says he was shocked when he heard about the nightclub fire in Brazil. (28 Jan 2013)
<<CUT *073 (01/28/13)>> 00:16 "a bit shocking"
031-c-09-(Marco Sibaja (see-BAH'-jah), AP correspondent)-"which started burning"-AP correspondent Marco Sibaja reports on what many witnesses say was the cause the fire. (28 Jan 2013)
<<CUT *031 (01/28/13)>> 00:09 "which started burning"
GRAPHICSBANK: Firefighters at scene of NIGHTCLUB FIRE, Santa Maria, Brazil, on texture with lettering, finished graphic (27 Jan 2013)
APPHOTO XSI107: Police investigators work at the entrance of the Kiss nightclub where a fatal fire broke out in Santa Maria, Brazil, Monday, Jan. 28, 2013. A fast-moving fire roared through the crowded, windowless Kiss nightclub in this southern Brazilian city early Sunday, killing more than 230 people. Many of the victims were under 20 years old, including some minors. (AP Photo/Nabor Goulart) (28 Jan 2013)
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APPHOTO XSI103: Friends of fire victim Tanise Cielo mourn after her funeral at a cemetery in Santa Maria city, Rio Grande do Sul state, Brazil, Monday, Jan. 28, 2013. A fast-moving fire roared through the crowded, windowless Kiss nightclub in southern Brazil early Sunday, within seconds filling the space with flames and a thick, toxic smoke that killed more than 230 panicked partygoers who gasped for breath and fought in a stampede to escape. An early investigation into the tragedy revealed that security guards briefly prevented partygoers from leaving through the sole exit and the bodies later heaped inside that doorway slowed firefighters trying to get in.(AP Photo/Nabor Goulart) (28 Jan 2013)
<<APPHOTO XSI103 (01/28/13)>>