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85 People Dead @ Great White Show!!!
 
 
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Old 21 Feb 2003, 01:24 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default 85 People Dead @ Great White Show!!!

From MTV.com:

At least 86 people were killed and authorities expect the number to rise as they investigate a fire that engulfed a Rhode Island nightclub Thursday night. More than 160 people suffered injuries that ranged from smoke inhalation to severe burning.

The Station, in West Warwick, about 15 miles southwest of Providence, caught fire at about 11 p.m. as a result of a pyrotechnic mishap during the first song by '80s metal band Great White. A spark or flame apparently ignited foam soundproofing or insulation in the ceiling and spread throughout the venue within minutes, leaving little more than one wall standing by the time firefighters extinguished the blaze a few hours later.

At least 169 people escaped and were taken to local medical centers, many with severe burns and others injured as a result of being trampled as they attempted to exit. Many of those dead were found near the front door, and dozens were unaccounted for in the early morning hours after the fire.

"They were completely burned," West Warwick resident Michelle Craine told the AP. Craine was one of the many people still awaiting news on missing friends feared dead in the blaze.

A witness told The Providence Journal about 300 people attended the concert, though authorities said the Station was not at capacity. Among those who were still missing in the hours immediately following the disaster were Great White's guitar player Ty Longley and a local radio DJ who introduced the band onstage. The exact number of people in the club is still being determined.

"It went up like a Christmas Tree," Great White singer Jack Russell told The Providence Journal. "I was trying to put it out with a bottle of water. I turned around and the building was engulfed. My soundman is injured. I'm on my way to the hospital."

Approximately 100 people were ushered out of the club by rescuers. Bodies were still being discovered and taken away more than 12 hours after the fire started, as pieces of the collapsed structure were removed piecemeal.

The fire that started in the ceiling quickly spread to the wall behind the stage. The crowd didn't immediately leave as the flames crept up behind the playing band, assuming a wall of fire was part of the stage show.

"I don't think this is supposed to be like that," one employee of the club told another. "We need to leave."

Thick black smoke then consumed the room and the lights went out, causing a chaotic rush toward the one exit most patrons used to enter. Many people attempted to climb through broken windows in order to escape. The band fled through the back door.

"I ended up walking out the back door, by the kitchen door," the employee also said. "I thought [my co-worker] was right with me, but she wasn't."

Fire marshals have estimated that the entire venue was enveloped in flames within three minutes. Crews were still dousing the flames at 1:50 a.m.

Hundreds of firefighters and police officers, and dozens of EMS workers from neighboring areas as far as Massachusetts, rushed to the scene, and rescuers were pulling injured victims to a makeshift triage area set up across the street from the venue. From there they were taken to one of at least six hospitals by buses and ambulances, and the more severely burned were transported by helicopters.

Sixty-three people sought treatment at Rhode Island hospital in Providence, according to a hospital spokesperson. Seventeen were discharged and three were transferred to Massachusetts General Hospital. Thirty-eight people were severely injured, 14 of whom are in critical condition and 24 classified as serious. Eighteen patients had to be intubated and put on a respirator to assist breathing. The severity of the burns ranged from two percent of a victim's body to 50 percent. Nearly all those admitted to RIH, as well as some taken to Massachusetts General Hospital, were also treated for smoke inhalation.

In a press conference Friday afternoon (February 21), hospital surgeons said those in the worst condition had a 50 to 60 percent survival rate. After the initial burn treatment of cleaning the damaged skin area and re-hydrating the patients to prevent kidney failure, doctors will be administering antibiotics and watching for infection, a dangerous and possibly deadly repercussion of any major burn. Rehabilitation for some victims may take months.

The primary directive for authorities now is to identify the victims and notify the families. Police have been examining the license plates of nearby parked cars for possible clues to those still missing.

Great White's Russell told reporters on the scene that the band's use of pyrotechnics was approved by the club. A multi-agency investigation involving state and local police and fire marshals, and the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, is underway, in the hopes of finding why the fire occurred, and who, if anyone, is liable.

"You had no business setting off pyrotechnics in that building, as far as I can say," observed Governor Donald Carcieri, who arrived on the scene from Florida Friday morning, upon receiving news of the incident. "So somebody made a bad decision, and we don't know whether they were permitted to or not." A Station stage technician claimed to be unaware that Great White's set would feature fireworks.

Venues require a certificate of competency and a permit to use pyrotechnics indoors. A fire official told CNN that the Station applied for a permit to use pyrotechnics, but it had not been granted.

"People were here to dance and enjoy themselves," said Fire Marshall Jesse Owens. "Somebody made a decision to set off those pyrotechnic displays, and it started the fire. It didn't need to happen. It shouldn't have happened."

The Station was not equipped with sprinklers, though the West Warwick Fire Chief Charles Hall said that based on the venue's square footage, sprinklers were not required.

Family members can call (401) 462-7111 for victim information.

The tragedy struck just four days after a disaster in a Chicago club, E2, left 21 people dead and more than 50 injured. That incident was the result of a mass rush to flee the nightclub after a security guard used pepper spray to dispel a fight.

[This story was updated on 02.21.03 at 3:02 p.m. ET.]
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Old 21 Feb 2003, 01:41 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Christ, the number of people who've died has changed so many times over the past couple of hours. I've seen 39, 54, 60, 75 and now 85. It just keep getting worse.
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Old 21 Feb 2003, 01:54 PM   #3 (permalink)
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When I came to work it was 65 and now it's 85...

Why I don't get is how the 80's band Great White can get over 200 people to come to their show???
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Old 21 Feb 2003, 05:21 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Christ, the number of people who've died has changed so many times over the past couple of hours. I've seen 39, 54, 60, 75 and now 85. It just keep getting worse.


I have to agree
 
Old 21 Feb 2003, 06:06 PM   #5 (permalink)
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WHAT PISSES ME OFF IS HOW GREAT WHITE STILL THINKS IT'S STILL 1987 AND IT'S OKAY TO HAVE PYRO ANYWHERE THEY GO EVEN IN A CLUBS THAT SMALL IT THINK THE REMAINING MEMBERS OFF THAT MOTHERFUCKIN BAND SHOULD BE ALL PUT TO DEATH. THEY ARE JUST AS BAD AS THE FUCKIN TERRORISTS WHEN IT COMES TO KILLING THAT MANY PEOPLE ALL BECAUSE THEY DID KNOW WHEN TO STOP TOURING AND THOSE FUCKIN DIRT BAGS SHOULD OF FACE REALITY THAT THE 80'S ARE FUCKIN OVER AND NO ONE LISTENS TO THAT STUPID BULLSHIT MUSIC ANYMORE!!!!
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