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Rhode Island Nightclub Fire Leaves At Least 85 Dead and 168 Injured Print E-mail
Friday, 21 February 2003
A Great White concert last night at a small music venue in Rhode Island ended in a tragic fire that has so far killed 85 people and left 168 people injured.

Great White entered the stage in a show of pyrotechnics as the crowd cheered. The pyrotechnics ended but the flames remained and quickly spread to the egg crate foam lining the walls of the stage. Many fans, not realizing that the flames were part of a real fire and not a continuation of the pyrotechnics show, remained to watch the band. However, once the flames spread throughout the club there was a mad rush for the exit.
Within three minutes the entire club was in flames with hundreds of people trapped inside. The Station, located in West Warwick, Rhode Island is a small venue with maximum capacity 300. The club was just short of capacity at Thursday’s show.

Lead Singer, Jack Russell, stated that the band received permission from the club owner to use pyrotechnics, however, the club’s stage technician says he didn’t know that the band planned to use fireworks.

The club apparently didn’t have a permit to use pyrotechnics for Thursday night’s show, but has had pyrotechnics in previous shows and have always had permits until this incident.

Among the missing and unidentified, is Great White guitarist Ty Longley who has been playing with the band for three years.

The investigation continues and there is a possibility that the death toll could climb even higher. This is the second tragedy this week involving a live music venue and monumental loss of life.

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