Focus turns to Brazilian club safety after tragic fire
SANTA MARIA, Brazil (AP) - The repercussions of a tragic nightclub fire that killed more than 230 people in southern Brazil widened on Tuesday as mayors around the country cracked down on such venues in their own cities and investigators searched two other nightspots owned by a partner in the club that caught ablaze.
The government of the country's biggest city, Sao Paulo, promised tougher security regulations for nightclubs and other places where many people gather.
President Dilma Rousseff promised on Monday that "we have the responsibility to make sure this never is repeated". Mayors in other cities pledged to follow suit, especially with the upcoming start of Carnival, which floods nightclubs with celebratory crowds.
Since the fire, a Rio de Janeiro consumer complaint hotline has received more than 60 calls denouncing hazardous conditions at night spots, theatres, supermarkets, schools, hospitals and shopping malls around the state. Blocked emergency exits and non-existent fire alarms and extinguishers top the list of most common complaints.