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Brazil president urges Brazilians to stand together following club fire tragedy

posted 27 Jan 2013, 06:34 by Sam Mbale   [ updated 27 Jan 2013, 06:35 ]

Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff stresses solidarity in aftermath of nightclub fire which killed at least 200 people, cuts short visit to Chile to return home.

SANTIAGOCHILE (JANUARY 27, 2013) ( (TV GLOBO) -  Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff cut short a visit to Chile on Sunday (January 27) to return to Brazil following a devastating nightclub fire which killed at least 200 people.

A visibly distraught Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff urged the country to stand together in the wake of the tragedy.

"Maria do Rosário (Brazil's Human Rights Secretary) is also there and Minister (Alexandre) Padilha (Brazil's Health Minister) is on his way. There's a mobilization of resources to take out the bodies, which is the main thing we can do for the victims' families at this point, and also to treat the injured as quick as possible. Rio Grande do Sul has a good public health infrastructure in that particular area, but we (the Federal Government) will also make everything they need available. There's an Air Base nearby and Brigadier Junito Saito (Commander of Brazil's Air Force) has also made the resources available. I would also like to say to the Brazilian people and to the people of Santa Maria that we stand together at this time, and that even though there's a lot of sadness, we will pull through."

Bodies were still being removed from the Kiss nightclub in the southern city of Santa Maria. The victims died of asphyxiation or from being trampled. Local officials blamed a pyrotechnics show for starting the blaze.