Flames ripped through the packed Kiss venue in Santa Maria as crowds rushed for the single exit, but the thick smoke caused many to collapse before they made it to safety. The bodies began to pile up, blocking the doors and trapping others in the burning building in what is thought to be the world's most fatal nightclub blaze in a decade.
Police have yet to officially identify the cause of the fire, but eyewitness reports suggest flares used onstage by local band Gurizada Fandangueira could have ignited the flames.
Accordion player Danilo Jacques, 28, was among the victims who perished in the tragedy, while his five bandmates made it out alive.
Blink-182 rocker Mark Hoppus was among the first to comment on the tragedy, taking to his Twitter.com page to write, "Sending thoughts and prayers to everyone in Brazil. Stay safe."
Lady Gaga offered her support via a post on her Facebook.com page, writing, "My heart is with you Brazil. Sending my prayers to the families and friends who lost loved ones in the fire in Brazil. I'm thinking of you today during this tragedy."
Taboo was also quick to express his shock at the disaster, tweeting: "Very upset about SantaMaria tragedy. Kids went out to have fun at a club & died due to a preventable fire. So sorry for your loss Brazil" and British singer Boy George adds, "My prayers for the families of those clubbers who died or were injured in Brazil. Very, very sad!"
Dance act Goldfrapp was also devastated by the club horror, writing, "So shocking and sad to hear the news of the fire at the night club in Brazil...really awful", while Moby penned a personal note in Portuguese, which translated to read: "I am so sorry for the tragedy in Brazil. It is so sad and tragic."