After the fire was extinguished, bodies were ferried by truck to the gymnasium. The Globo newspaper said the first truck carried 67 bodies and the second 70. “People started panicking and ended up treading on each other,” a fire chief, Guido de Melo, told local media. Fire department officials will issue a detailed report after a full investigation. Many of the dead are likely to be students because Santa Maria is a university centre for the Rio Grande do Sul region and the usual class schedule had been disrupted by strikes. (The Guardian).]]>

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