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Brazil nightclub fire: Four convicted over blaze that killed 242

Brazil nightclub fire: Four convicted over blaze that killed 242

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A Brazilian court has sentenced four people to lengthy prison terms over the deaths of 242 club-goers in a fire during a party in 2013.

The blaze began when members of a band performing at the Kiss nightclub, in the southern city of Santa Maria, lit flares which set light to the ceiling.

There was a stampede and most of the victims died through smoke inhalation.

Elissandro Spohr and Mauro Hoffmann, the nightclub owners, were sentenced to 22 and 19 years in prison respectively. Band members Marcelo de Jesus dos Santos and Luciano Bonilha Leão were given a jail term of 18 years each.

However, the four were immediately released and will remain free while their lawyers appeal. According to the findings, the venue had no functioning fire extinguishers and poor emergency signage. Officials found there were only two emergency exits.

The fire happened during a university party, and most of the victims were students between 17 and 30 years old. More than 600 people were injured.