An explosion and fire blamed on fireworks tore through a nightclub in the Russian city of Perm early yesterday, killing 109 people, Russian officials said.

Video from inside the Lame Horse club, broadcast on the Vesti news channel, showed the ceiling starting to burn and the club filling with smoke as young patrons realised what was happening and mobbed an exit.

Reports say the blaze started when a performer juggling fireworks accidentally set the plastic suspended ceiling on fire. A spokesman for Russia's top investigative body said that there was no suspicion of a terrorist attack.

News footage shot outside later showed charred bodies lying in rows on the ground amid a light snowfall.