Brazil: Court Overturns Convictions of 4 Men Found Guilty of Club Fire that Killed 242 People

A banner displaying the photos of the 242 people who died was hung in Porto Alegre
- Advertisement -

A court in Brazil has overturned the conviction of four men who were sentenced to long terms in prison over a deadly nightclub fire.

The blaze in the Kiss nightclub in the southern city of Santa Maria in 2013 killed 242 people.

It erupted when a band playing at the club lit flares which in turn ignited the ceiling.

In 2021, two band members and the two owners of the club were found guilty of murder and attempted murder.

They received sentences ranging between 18 and 22 years in jail.

But on Wednesday a court made up of three judges in the state of Rio Grande do Sul ruled two to one to overturn their convictions, saying there had been irregularities in the trial’s jury selection.

Prosecutors said they were planning to appeal against the decision.

An order to release the four prisoners has already been issued and two of the four men left jail on Wednesday evening local time, news site G1 reported.

The fire was one of Brazil’s deadliest and accounts from survivors shocked the country, eventually leading to a review of safety regulations at similar venues.

Investigators found that flares used by the band on stage set alight the insulation material in the ceiling.

Most of the victims were killed by the toxic fumes produced by the burning insulation foam.

There were hundreds of young people in the overcrowded club at the time. Poor signage and the fact that there were only two exits meant that 600 were injured as well as 242 killed.

- Advertisement -