Authorities in the surroundings of the Kiss discotheque in Brazil, where a fire left at least 236 people dead. EFE/File
Rio de Janeiro, Feb 1 (EFE).- The death of a 20-year-old college student raises to 236 the number of fatalities in the fire at the Kiss discotheque in the southern Brazilian city of Santa Maria, authorities said Friday.
Matheus Raschen had been in intensive care since the blaze at a hospital in Porto Alegre, capital of the state of Rio Grande do Sul, with third-degree burns over 40 percent of his body, the state health department said.
A native of Santa Cruz do Sul, Raschen attended the Federal University of Santa Maria and was a member of Brazil's national youth basketball team in 2010.
According to the latest official bulletin, 69 patients remain in grave condition and are on artificial respiration in several hospitals of the region.
The fire was started by the use of fireworks during a concert by the Gurizada Fandangueira band for a university party at the disco in the wee hours Sunday.
The fire spread rapidly through the inflammable foam used as acoustic insulation in the ceiling, which also generated a toxic gas that caused most of the deaths, according to preliminary investigations.
Police believe the number of guests at the party exceeded the disco's capacity, though they continue to investigate other factors that might have contributed to the tragedy, such as the lack of an emergency exit and not enough fire extinguishers.