Some people learn from others' misfortunes; others remain in denial. Among the latest examples of turning one's back on others' tragedies is the Kiss nightclub fire in Santa Maria in southern Brazil early yesterday. As you know, 231 people died of smoke inhalation and stampeding. Security for a time wasn't allowing people out for fear patrons were leaving their bar tabs unpaid. Firefighters had trouble entering the building because of all the bodies piled in the doorway, so close to escaping. About 100 others were injured.
Four people have been arrested, or actually detained at this point. Two are club owners, and the other two are members of the band that was setting off a pyrotechnic show, perhaps the cause of the fire. "The detainees will be held initially for five days while authorities investigate Sunday's blaze in the Kiss nightclub in Santa Maria, according to Marcos Viana, a police official who spoke with state-run Agencia Brasil. The five-day period can be extended for five more days, the news agency said." (http://www.cnn.com/2013/01/28/world/americas/brazil-nightclub-fire-main/index.html?hpt=hp_t3)
Could this tragic crisis have been prevented by studying the past? "About 2,000 people were inside the club when the fire broke out -- double the maximum capacity of 1,000, said Guido de Melo, a state fire official. (http://www.cnn.com/2013/01/28/world/americas/brazil-nightclub-fire/index.html?hpt=hp_t3) There was one way in and one way out. How long do you suppose it would take to evacuate 2,000 through one door?
Similar errors have brought tragic consequences, if only the Kiss owners had paid attention to the risks and calculated the severe consequences. For example:
So you see, there's a long history of nightclub fires around the world. Whatever your business, study where your vulnerabilities may be. Then fix them. You don't want to be the next Kiss nightclub, the next Aurora Century movie theater, or the next Boy Scouts sex scandal.
Study the past, learn, change as necessary.