Fire at Club in Argentina Kills at Least 174

Fire at Club in Argentina Kills at Least 174 (NYT-AP)

A fire that raced through a packed Buenos Aires nightclub during a rock concert killed at least 174 concert-goers and injured about 410, and investigators were looking into survivor accounts that the building’s emergency exits were locked. Grieving parents crowded the city’s morgues to identify the dead — many of them teenagers — after the blaze swept through the club in the Argentine capital late Thursday, setting off a stampede for the emergency exits, witnesses said.

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City officials said it wasn’t immediately clear what caused the fire, but several survivors said they saw a flare hit a foam lining on the roof of the concert hall, triggering a fire. Flares are often lit by fans attending rock concerts in Argentina, which are frequently rowdy and punctuated by fireworks set off by people in the crowd. “Someone from the crowd tossed a flare and there were immediately flames,” said Fabian Zamudeo, a 22-year-old in the crowd to see a popular Argentine rock band, Los Callejeros.

Television reports indicate that the exit doors may have been locked as well.

FILED UNDER: Popular Culture
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.

Comments

  1. Rodney Dill says:

    Guess we know where “Great White” was playing.

  2. Tig says:

    Hmmm, a timely tsunami could have easily doused that blaze. Sometimes, it seems, death is jes’ a matter of bein’ in the the wrong place at the wrong time. Other times, it seems, death is jes’ a matter of bein’ out-gunned.

  3. Does this remind anyone of the Coconut Grove fire tragedy in the U.S. some 60 years ago? The blocked doors trapped hundreds. That event drove legislation in the U.S. for new fire codes (doors must open outward, no blocked exits, etc.)