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Brazil fire a warning for Chinese

China Daily | Updated: 2013-01-30 07:25

A fire in a nightclub in Santa Maria, southern Brazil, on Jan 27 claimed the lives of at least 232 people and left more than 100 with various degrees of burns and injuries. The devastating fire in Brazil should serve as a warning for Chinese people to take precautionary measures before setting off fireworks and firecrackers during Spring Festival to avoid accidents, says an article in Chinese Youth Daily. Excerpts:

There are three special lessons to be learned from the Brazil fire. First, nightclub managers in China should exercise extreme caution in the late hours, because the fire in the Santa Maria nightclub, called Kiss, broke out just before dawn when most people were either too drunk or too tired, or both, to sense the impending danger. Also, nightclubs in China should not be open beyond a certain hour. And since extreme joy begets sorrow, we should be particularly cautious during wild celebrations.

Second, setting off fireworks indoors should be banned in China. Brazilian media have reported that a group of undergraduates had organized a "grand" party in the nightclub and the fire started from the fireworks one of the students set off in the building around 2:30 am, which should be an eye opener to Chinese people.

Third, apart from precautionary measures, crowded places should also have foolproof fire-fighting equipment. Besides, nightclubs should have multiple exits, including emergency exits, which should be kept uncluttered. The Santa Maria nightclub could hold up to 2,000 people at a time but had only one exit. As a result, many of the victims died in the stampede rather than being killed by the fire.

Investigations show that more often than not a fire is triggered by careless people. Hopefully, Chinese people will exercise more caution while setting off fireworks and will be aware of the hidden dangers associated with it, and make Spring Festival a fire-free celebration.

(China Daily 01/30/2013 page9)

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