Deaths in Ecuador concert fire

Tragedy blamed on flames set off by pyrotechnics show during a rock concert.

    Flames swept through the nightclub in Quito during an afternoon event on Saturday [AFP]

    At least 15 people have been killed in Ecuador's capital Quito after flames started by fireworks swept through a nightclub, according to a fire official.

    Dozens of others, possibly as many as 45, were injured in Saturday's blaze.

    The fire was apparently set off by a pyrotechnics show gone wrong during the concert attended by hundreds of people at the Factory, Cristina Medina, a Red Cross spokeswoman, said.

    "We have counted 15 dead," she said.

    She said she feared that several people suffered serious injuries.

    People were trapped inside as "the exit doors were closed and padlocked", Jaime Benalcazar, Quito's fire chief, told The Associated Press news agency.

    He said officials removed 14 "completely burned" bodies.

    Someone inside the Factory lit fireworks, sending sparks upward that ignited material on the ceiling, Benalcazar said.

    Inspectors are investigating whether proper security measures had been in place.

    The Factory is located just 500 metres from the main commercial centre in the southern area of Quito.

    It had cardboard and fabric decorations, according to local radio reports.

    SOURCE: Agencies


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