R.I. Death Toll Rises - Rolling Stone
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R.I. Death Toll Rises

Ninety-eight deaths now confirmed after club fire

Forty-year-old Kelly Vieiera, the ninety-eighth victim of last
month’s Rhode Island nightclub fire, died Sunday in Boston. She
suffered severe burns after Great White’s show-opening pyrotechnics
ignited foam that the Station, in Vieiera’s hometown of West
Warwick, had used for soundproofing.

Of the roughly sixty people who remain hospitalized as a result
of the February 20th blaze, nearly half are in critical condition,
and doctors at area hospitals say the number of dead could continue
to inch toward 100.

Great White guitarist Ty Longley, 31, who also died in the fire,
was remembered yesterday at a memorial service in Hubbard, Ohio,
attended by more than 400 people, but not his four surviving
bandmates, according to press reports. Longley joined Great White
in 2000, eighteen years after its initial founding.

Lead singer Jack Russell, one of two original band members along
with guitarist Mark Kendall, is in Rhode Island, where according to
his lawyers he is cooperating with the ongoing grand jury
investigation into the blaze.

Reports Friday suggested Russell had asked for immunity from
prosecution in exchange for his testimony, but his lawyers have
since denied that.

Also Friday came indications that the nightclub installed cheap
packing foam instead of proper nonflammable soundproofing.
Investigators believe the foam accelerated the fire, which razed
the wooden 1940s building.


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