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Last Updated: Tuesday, 7 March 2006, 21:49 GMT
Argentine mayor removed over fire
Buenos Aires City Mayor Anibal Ibarra
Anibal Ibarra was suspended from office last year
Buenos Aires legislators have voted to remove Mayor Anibal Ibarra from office for dereliction of duty over a fire that killed 194 people in 2004.

They failed to reach agreement on banning Mr Ibarra - who denies any responsibility - from public office for 10 years.

The blaze at the Republica Cromagnon nightclub started when a concert-goer shot a flare into the ceiling.

Many victims died of smoke inhalation as the emergency exits were locked.

The nightclub owner and city officials have also been investigated for their part in the tragedy, one of the worst in Argentine history.

High emotions

The decision was reached after a long-drawn-out vote broadcast live on national television, and after weeks of bitter accusations and insults.

Friends and family light candles at a mass in Buenos Aires
At least 1,500 people had packed into the nightclub

The city's council ruled that Mr Ibarra must assume some responsibility for the tragedy for failing to ensure public safety inspections were carried out.

The legislative building where the impeachment hearing took place was surrounded by tight security, after a night of protests in which buildings were damaged and people threatened.

The families of the victims placed a huge Argentine flag with photographs of their loved ones on top on the approach to the legislative building.

Their celebrations began immediately the deciding vote was cast.

Mr Ibarra's supporters says he is a victim of a witch-hunt led by his political rivals.




SEE ALSO:
Argentina marks club fire deaths
30 Dec 05 |  Americas
Buenos Aires mayor is suspended
15 Nov 05 |  Americas
Argentine fire legal action opens
31 Jan 05 |  Americas
Anger mounts over Argentine fire
07 Jan 05 |  Americas
Man arrested over Argentine fire
01 Jan 05 |  Americas
Panic and chaos in club inferno
31 Dec 04 |  Americas


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