UN chief saddened by tragic fire at Brazil nightclub

28 January 2013

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon was saddened to learn of the tragic fire that occurred at a nightclub in Brazil on Saturday night, which led to the death of hundreds of people.

“[Mr. Ban] was especially moved by news of the very large number of young people, including university students, who have reportedly perished as a result of the fire,” Mr. Ban's spokesperson said in a statement issued last night.

According to media reports, at least 232 people were killed in a nightclub fire in the southern city of Santa Maria, in the Rio Grande do Sul region. The fire was reportedly sparked by fireworks lit by members of a band performing onstage. Many of the victims died inhaling toxic fumes during the rush to escape through the venue's single exit.

“The Secretary-General expresses his condolences to the families and friends of those whose lives were lost, as well as to the Brazilian government and people at large at this time of national mourning.”

News Tracker: Past Stories on This Issue

UNESCO recognizes Brazilian friar's contribution to social justice in Latin America and Caribbean

The United Nations has recognized a Brazilian Dominican friar, Frei Betto, with a leading international prize for his “exceptional contribution” to building a universal culture of peace, social justice and human rights in Latin America and the Caribbean.