Sao Paulo, Brazil (CNN) -- Panicked crowds pushed toward the exits as fire swept through a packed nightclub in southern Brazil early Sunday.
Hundreds didn't escape in time.
The blaze at the Kiss nightclub in Santa Maria killed at least 233 people, Brazilian Health Minister Alexandro Padilha told reporters. Many of them apparently died from smoke inhalation, state-run Agencia Brasil reported. Others were trampled in the rush for the exits, one security guard told CNN affiliate Band News.