A fire in a Brazilian nightclub has killed at least 245 people with fears that the death toll could rise further, initial reports suggest.
Around 200 people have been injured.
Fire chief Guido de Melo told the Brazilian website, G1: "Fire services are looking for other victims. We can't give an exact number [of those killed]. People started panicking and ended up treading on each other,"
He added: "We have just taken the fire under control. Now we are removing the bodies."
Rescue services had to smash through walls to reach those trapped inside.
Reports suggest many choked to death or were trampled in the rush to escape the nightclub which only had one exit.
"We were only able to get out quickly because we were in a VIP area close to the door."
The UK's Foreign Office Minister Hugo Swire says thoughts and condolences are with everyone involved in nightclub fire.
“I am deeply saddened by the news of the tragic accident in Santa Maria early this morning.
"My thoughts and sincere condolences are with the families and loved ones of those who have lost their lives, and I wish a swift recovery to the hundreds who are now being treated in hospital.”
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