Death toll in South Brazil disco fire rises to 237

SAO PAULO (AFP) - A 22-year-old man injured in the disco fire in Brazil has died, bringing the death toll to 237, officials said Sunday.

The health secretariat of Rio Grande do Sul state said Bruno Portella Fricks died in a Porto Alegre hospital late Saturday from injuries he suffered in last Sunday's blaze in the college town of Santa Maria.

He was among a total of 114 injured still being treated in various hospitals in Porto Alegre and Santa Maria, the secretariat said in a statement.

Police have linked the fire to a flare musicians bought for the show "that they knew was designed exclusively for outside use," but which was much cheaper than indoor flares.

Authorities have been holding since Monday the two owners of the "Kiss" nightclub in Santa Maria and the two musicians who allegedly took part in the ill-fated pyrotechnic show.

The authorities have also cited security violations at the club, including a lack of emergency lights, fire extinguishers that did not work, and an overcrowded dance floor.

The Santa Maria tragedy is a huge embarrassment for Brazil as it prepares to host the 2014 World Cup and the 2016 summer Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.

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