Herald Brings Brazil Nightclub Tragedy Home

January 28, 2013

The nightclub fire that killed 233 people in Sao Paulo Santa Maria, Brazil, yesterday has, as many have pointed out, haunting similarities to The Station nightclub fire in Rhode Island a decade ago. Both Boston dailies noted the echoes in their print editions today, one much more vividly than the other.

The Globe ran the story Page One, but it was a pickup from the New York Times.

Picture 1


The Globe did toss in a couple of local references:

The disaster ranks among the deadliest nightclub fires in history, comparable to the 2003 blaze at The Station nightclub in Rhode Island that killed 100 people, one in 2004 in Buenos Aires in which 194 were killed, and a fire at a club in China in 2000 in which 309 people died. In 1942, a fire at the Cocoanut Grove nightclub in Boston killed 492 people . . . The scene recalled the 2003 fire at The Station nightclub in West Warwick, R.I., at which the rock band Great White was performing. During the show, pyrotechnics set fire to flammable soundproofing foam that lined the walls and ceiling, killing 100 and injuring 200.


The Herald coverage, though, cut much closer to home:

Picture 2


Lead piece:

Brazil Nightclub FireFire rocks Hub Brazilians, survivors of R.I.’s station

‘It’s just heartbreaking … that someone else has to go through this’

The pyrotechnic fire that killed at least 233 people in a crowded Brazilian nightclub yesterday stunned the still traumatized survivors of Rhode Island’s 2003 Station nightclub blaze and prompted prayer vigils among the Boston area’s large Brazilian community.

“It’s just heartbreaking to know that someone else has to go through this,” said Gina Russo, 45, of Cranston, R.I., a survivor of the Station nightclub fire, who has undergone 54 surgeries to date after more than 40 percent of her body was burned. She lost her fiance in the fire.

“It’s everybody’s worst nightmare,” said Aguilar Martins of 
Lynnfield, a 42-year-old Brazilian who attended a vigil at the First Brazilian Baptist Church in Charlestown. “We’re so far away, you can’t really do much about it.”


Except tell the stories as best you can.