Santa Maria nightclub owner attempts suicide


Firefighters try to put out a fire at a nightclub in Santa Maria, 550 Km from Porto Alegre, southern Brazil on January 27, 2012.


Germano Roratto

SAO PAULO, Brazil — One of the owners of Kiss nightclub in Santa Maria, Brazil, has attempted suicide after a fire at his establishment killed more than 230 people.

According to Globo News, Elissandro Spohr, known as Kiko, tried to kill himself with a shower hose. The police officer on duty saw what Spohr was trying to do and was able to stop him. The owner is in temporary police custody for five days and should be released this Friday.

"He said he doesn't have any desire to live anymore, that he doesn't have the ability to carry all of this tragedy," Deputy Lylian Carus told Globo.

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Spohr is currently under medical care at an unnamed hospital, reported O Dia. His doctor has said lung damage is minor, but needs to be observed. He is now being given strong sedatives.

Spohr isn't the only one who has been arrested in connection with the nightclub fire in the university town of Santa Maria. According to Rede Brasil Atual, two members of the band Gurizada Fandangueira and club co-owner Mauro Hoffman are also in temporary police custody.

Deputy Marcel Arigony has said he is having difficulty extending their prison stay because of legal issues.

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"We asked for 30 days of temporary custody but we only got five," said Arigony. "It's not the fault of the prosecutor, the judge or the police. It's the legislation that has very specific demands."

Arigony also said he's concerned about the preservation of evidence in the case and that the suspects could corrupt witnesses.

"One of the club owners, for example, has a lot of influence over the employees."