Sunday, August 01, 2004

Paraguayan Blaze

In the wind we hear their laughter
In the rain we see their tears
Hear their heartbeat
We hear their heartbeat
--U2, Mothers of the Disappeared.

It seems every disaster inside a club has the ubiquitous problem of "locked doors" preventing a fast escape, which inevibably leads to

trampling-panic-a pile up-immobility-death.

Chain reaction, every time. Its just sad.

275 dead in Paraguay inferno

ASUNCION, Paraguay -- A fire that raged through a supermarket crowded with weekend shoppers in Paraguay's capital has killed 275 people, Interior Minister Orlando Fiorotto has confirmed.

The toll is expected to rise with one local television station reported saying at least 340 bodies have been recovered from the blaze.

The fire -- followed by two explosions -- broke out around noon Sunday local time, and raged for seven hours before firefighters were able to put it out.

Some witnesses said victims were not able to escape the flames because the exits had been locked, possibly to avoid robberies, a claim denied by Juan Pio Paiva, the supermarket's owner.

Preliminary investigations focused on a possible short circuit and an accidental fire, officials said.

Nevertheless, Paiva said the fire could have been set intentionally.

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