Compensation sought for Brazil blaze victims

A private association has filed a lawsuit in the wake of a fatal Brazil nightclub fire, demanding three million reais ($1.5 million) for each family of the 239 victims, a lawyer said.

The Anecol group filed the suit against the Kiss club's owners, as well as members of the band that allegedly triggered the January 27 tragedy and the university town of Santa Maria where the disco is located.

It also calls for 300,000 reais for each of the roughly 100 wounded, according to lawyer Walter Martins.

Police have linked the fire to an ill-fated pyrotechnic show launched by musicians using flares designed for use outdoors.

The club also did not have the capacity to accommodate a large crowd and the only way out of the venue was poorly marked. Witnesses have said that the fire extinguishers did not work.

Police still have four people in custody in the case.

The Santa Maria tragedy is a huge embarrassment for Brazil as it prepares to host the 2014 World Cup and the 2016 Summer Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.

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