Santa Maria, Brazil -- Thousands are in mourning tonight after a massive fire tore through Kiss nightclub in the southern part of the country on Sunday.
Glauber Fernandes of CNN affiliate Band News described the situation.
"It was a really complicated scene. A lot of smoke, a lot of shoes that was left, cell phones, because everybody tried to get out of there running," he said. "While we were there, we saw the cell phones were ringing. It was parents, friends, trying to know about what was happening and nobody was answering."
The fire killed at least 233 people, Brazilian Health Minister Aleandro Padilha told reporters. Of those, 185 have been identified so far.
While many perished from smoke inhalation, others were trampled to death during the mad rush to the exit, according to one security guard. More than 90 people were hospitalized, according to Padilha, including 14 people with severe burns.
According to Guido de Melo, a state official, around 2,000 people were inside the club when it ignited -- more than double the maximum capacity of 1,000.
De Melo revealed that investigators have been told that security guards were blocking people from escaping the club.
"People who were inside the facility informed us ... that security guards blocked the exit to prevent people there from leaving, and that's when the crowd starting panicking, and the tragedy grew worse," he said.
Pyrotechnics were being used in the club that night; however, they have as yet not been blamed as the direct cause of the fire.