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Venezuela nightclub fire kills 47

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  • reinaldok_2000@yahoo.com
    From: reinaldok I suppose that all the FREE PRESS in the USA and in Venezuela will automatically blame Chavez with starting the fire! ... Venezuela nightclub
    Message 1 of 1 , Dec 1, 2002
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      From: reinaldok

      I suppose that all the FREE PRESS in the USA and in Venezuela will automatically blame Chavez with starting the fire!

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      Venezuela nightclub fire kills 47
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      Sun-Sentinel Wires

      December 1, 2002, 9:20 AM EST

      CARACAS, Venezuela -- Forty-seven people were killed, most of them suffocated by smoke, when a fire swept through a packed nightclub in downtown Caracas early Sunday, the city's fire chief said.

      It was one of the deadliest fires in Venezuela's recent history.

      The blaze, in which eight people were injured by burns, gutted the Goajira nightclub located in a basement in Caracas' Baralt Avenue.

      The fire occurred a day before opponents of President Hugo Chavez were set to stage a general strike to pressure the leftist leader to hold an early referendum on his rule.

      ``Unfortunately, we have 47 victims dead,'' Fire Chief Rodolfo Briceno told local Globovision television news. Of those who died, 32 were men and 15 women.

      Briceno said 80 percent of the victims were choked to death by thick, toxic smoke produced when the fire consumed plastic ornaments inside the nightclub. There was panic as the several hundred people inside stampeded to get out.

      ``When we got here, the fire was burning fiercely and there was a big column of smoke,'' Briceno said. ``There was a lot of panic,'' he said, adding that more than 500 people were evacuated from nearby buildings, including a hotel.

      Briceno said it was too early to say what caused the fire, but he said the basement location was old. ``Clearly, it did not have all the safety requirements,'' he said.

      He added the blaze could have been caused by a short circuit in old cabling or in the kitchen of the establishment.

      Caracas has been tense in the last few weeks because of the long-running political feud between followers and foes of former paratrooper Chavez, who was elected in 1998 and survived a general strike and a coup in April.

      At least two people were shot dead and dozens injured in political violence last month and troops had been deployed onto the streets of the city.

      Opponents of Chavez have called a general strike for Monday, which the government has condemned as ``insurrectional'' and an attempt to overthrow the populist president.

      Copyright (c) 2002, South Florida Sun-Sentinel

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