In the early morning hours of Jan. 27, 2013, a fire broke out in a nightclub in Santa Maria, a southern city in Brazil. The cause of the fire was a flare from pyrotechnics used by a band performing on stage at the club. At the time of the fire, the club was packed with hundreds of students from nearby universities. According to officials, at least 233 people were killed.
The fire stunned the nation. President Dilma Rousseff immediately left a summit meeting in Chile and traveled to Santa Maria to console the victims families. As she left Chile, in tears, she said to reporters, This is a tragedy for all of us.