Ecuador Fire Kills 15

Flames started by fireworks swept through a Quito, Ecuador, nightclub April 19th, killing at least 15 people and injuring 45 more.

Authorities in Quito, the capital of Ecuador, declared three days of mourning and vowed to file a lawsuit. A police inspection determined that the fire during a music awards concert at The Factory was sparked when a Roman candle lit by a band member ignited the club’s ceiling.

The victims, all of whom were age 24 or 25, "died because they were in the area where the blaze ignited, or because they were trampled by the crowd" in the rush for the exits, vice mayor Margarita Carranco said. The exit doors were padlocked, according to Quito Fire Chief James Benalcazar.

About 300 people attended the awards ceremony at the club, which was operating legally but wasn’t authorized to hold the concert, Carranco said.

One victim has been identified and the city will pay for DNA tests to identify the other bodies.