90+ Dead at Great White Show

Pyrotechnic sparklers ignite Rhode Island club

February 21, 2003 12:00 AM ET

Ninety-five people are confirmed dead after a fire broke out during a performance by veteran metal band Great White at the Station club in West Warwick, Rhode Island, late Thursday night. Rescue workers were still combing through the one-story venue Friday evening. Great White guitarist Ty Longley is among the missing.

Pyrotechnic sparklers set the blaze by igniting the club's eleven-feet-tall ceiling. The club was engulfed in flames in less than three minutes, giving many of the victims little time to reach one of the club's three exits. The Station did not have a permit for pyrotechnics, and, because its maximum capacity is just 300, the venue was not required to have a sprinkler system. According to Great White singer Jack Russell, the club gave the band permission to use the pyrotechnics.

More than 180 fans were treated for injuries sustained in the fire, and sixty concert-goers are thought to have escaped unharmed.

Russell will speak with Connie Chung on CNN tonight at 8 p.m. A statement on Great White's official Web site reads, "In light of the horrible incident that occurred in West Warwick, RI, our thoughts and prayers go out to everybody that lost their lives or were injured."

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