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story.lead_photo.caption Relatives and friends remove from a hearse the coffin carrying the remains of a person who died in a nightclub fire as they arrive to a cemetery for burials in Santa Maria, Brazil, on 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. - Photo by AP/Felipe Dana

— Brazilian police officials said Monday that they’ve made three detentions and are seeking a fourth person in a blaze that ripped through a nightclub in southern Brazil over the weekend, killing more than 230 people.

Inspector Ranolfo Vieira Junior said at a news conference that the detentions are for investigative purposes and those detained can be held up to five days. He declined to identify those detained or the fourth person sought, but the Brazilian newspaper Zero Hora quotes lawyer Jader Marques saying his client Elissandro Spohr, a co-owner of the club, had been held.

The paper also says police detained two band members who were on stage when the blaze broke out and were thought to have used pyrotechnics in their act.

A military brigade official said Monday that the death toll now stands at 231 people in the early Sunday blaze in the Kiss nightclub in Santa Maria, a university town of about 260,000 people in southern Brazil.

Many of the victims were under 20 years old, including some minors. Most victims died from smoke inhalation rather than burns.

Funerals began Monday in the city of Santa Maria, Brazil, where the blaze occurred.

Read tomorrow's Arkansas Democrat-Gazette for full details.


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  • Celorica
    January 28, 2013 at 1:26 p.m.

    A nightclub with one exit. Fireworks on the stage.Too many people. Drug and alcohol use. What could possibly go wrong?