A local newspaper said the fire started at around 2:00 a.m. at the "Kiss" nightclub in this city at the southern tip of Brazil — near the borders with Argentina and Uruguay.
Rodrigo Moura, a security guard at the club, said "Kiss" was at its "maximum capacity" (1,000—2,000) when the fire started He added that patrons were "pushing and shoving" to escape.
Police said the causes of the fire were still unknown
President Dilma Roussef canceled a series of meetings at a summit of Latin American and European leaders in Santiago, Chile. "It is a tragedy for all of us. I am not going to continue in the meeting (in Chile) for very clear reasons," she said.