Brazil nightclub owner attempts suicide, blames country for fire
AP and AFPSANTA MARIA, Brazil -- The owner of a nightclub in southern Brazil where more than 230 people died in a fire last weekend deflected blame to “the whole country,” as well as to architects and inspectors charged with making sure the building was safe, his lawyer said Wednesday.
February 1, 2013, 1:01 am TWN
Attorney Jader Marques said his client, Elissandro Spohr, “regretted having ever been born” because of his grief over the fire, but still blamed Sunday's tragedy on “a succession of errors made by the whole country.”
Spohr tried to commit suicide, with a plastic shower hose, senior police official Lilian Carus in the town of Cruz Alta said Wednesday.
Marques insisted in an interview with The Associated Press that “my client's responsibility is having trusted too much in the inspectors and in those responsible for the construction.”
The blaze also claimed another life late Tuesday, raising the death toll to 235, as a 25-year-old man with burns covering 70 percent of his body succumbed to his wounds. The man's older brother was also killed in the fire.
Marques denied reports that overcrowding helped cause Sunday's tragedy, insisting there were only 600 to 700 people in the club at any one time. Capacity for the 615-square-meter nightspot stood at less than 700, though the band's guitarist told media that the space was packed with an estimated 1,200 to 1,300 people. Police have given the same estimate.