Five guilty of Argentina club fire

Jail terms imposed on promoter and city officials for role in deadly 2004 blaze.

    Families of those who died say that negligence on
    the part of city officials led to the fire [EPA]

    Those convicted were allowed to remain free pending the outcome of an appeal, prompting an angry response from the families of those who died in the blaze.

    Police intervened to separate family members from supporters of the band after they clashed in the streets outside the court.

    Overcrowded club

    The authorities had allowed fans of the band to take fireworks into the rock club, as well as permitting nearly 3,000 people to enter a building that was designed to hold only 1,000.

    A political movement set up by the families of the victims succeeded in forcing the removal of Anibel Ibarra, Buenos Aires' mayor, while tougher regulations are in effect on some clubs in the city.

    However, the families say that more work needs to be done to make sure that such a disaster never happens again.

    "Nearly 200 deaths merit a real transformation, but unfortunately that hasn't happened… The responsible ones must pay," Alberto Urcullu, who lost his daughter in the fire, said.

    Fabiana Puebla, 32, who survived the fire but lost her boyfriend, said corruption and negligence on the part of city officials and the concert promoters had caused the blaze.

    "Part of my life stayed inside the club; the only thing that kept me alive was that I had to wake everyday seeking justice for him," Puebla said, speaking about Jose Cantale, her late partner.

    SOURCE: Agencies


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