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Feb 13, 2013
via Photographers' Blog

The KISS that ended in tragedy


Santa Maria, Brazil

By Edison Vara

It was early Sunday when my cell phone began ringing nonstop. Reuters called to inform me of a tragedy that was happening in the Kiss nightclub in the city of Santa Maria, with more than 70 known dead initially. That number would soon rise past 230. After more than 30 years as a photojournalist I was still jolted by the news, grabbed my equipment, and left for the site three hours away.

When I reached the gymnasium in Santa Maria where the bodies were being taken for identification, I was shocked to see the parents, children, brothers and sisters of victims searching for information, but I had to photograph all these moments of desperation, with respect for those who didn’t want me to.

    • About Edison

      "Edison Vara is a native of Porto Alegre, Brazil’s southernmost big city near the border with Uruguay. His three decades as a photojournalist include long stints in major newspapers such as O Globo, Folha de Sao Paulo, and Zero Hora, and international stories covered in Cuba, the USA, and around Latin America. He has been a Reuters contributor since 2003, mostly as a soccer specialist, but more recently covering other subjects as his home city prepares to host matches of the 2014 World Cup."
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