Great white concert disaster

Discussion in 'Off Topic [BG]' started by Tim Cole, Feb 21, 2003.

  1. Tim Cole

    Tim Cole

    Jun 12, 2002
    Findlay, Ohio
    :eek: Isn't Tony Levin playing with them?

    WEST WARWICK, R.I. (Feb. 21) - A huge fire engulfed a Rhode Island nightclub during a rock concert's pyrotechnics display, causing at least 10 deaths and 100 injuries, authorities said.

    Fire Capt. Russell McGillivray said an estimated 10 to 20 people died. He said many of the victims were found in the front door area after they apparently frantically rushed to the exits. More were possibly trapped inside.

    The blaze broke out at about 11 p.m. Thursday during a pyrotechnics display during a Great White concert at The Station in West Warwick, about 15 miles southwest of Providence. The club quickly went up in flames and little was left of the one-story building hours later.

    ''The place went up within a matter of two minutes,'' witness John Kudryk told the Providence Journal.

    At least 100 people were taken to area hospitals including Rhode Island Hospital in Providence and Kent County Memorial Hospital in nearby Warwick, said Town Manager Wolfgang Bauer.

    Paul Vanner, the club's sound technician and stage manager, said more than 300 people were at the concert. One person from the band was missing, he said.

    Chaos erupted moments after the blaze broke out. Witnesses said dozens of people rushed toward the exit, and those who escaped were later seen staggering into a triage center. Rescuers carried dozens of people on stretchers.

    Hundreds of firefighters and police from across the region and dozens of ambulances were on the scene. Rescuers were pulling badly injured victims from the fire as ladder trucks poured water over the flaming skeleton of the building.

    ''It was calm at first, everyone thought it was part of the act,'' said John DiMeo, who was sitting at the bar near the front door when the fire started. ''It happened so fast.''

    Jack Russell, the lead singer of Great White, told WJAR-TV he checked with the club's manager before the show and the band's use of pyrotechnics was approved. He said he felt the heat of the flames while on stage.

    ''This place went up like the Fourth of July,'' he said.

    Town Manager Wolfgang Bauer couldn't speculate on the specific cause, but said a flame from the pyrotechnics display hit styrofoam in the ceiling.

    ''Everbody knows there were pyrotechnics used in there,'' he said. ''We found people in a corner of the building. So there are dead people in there.''

    Great White is a 1980s heavy metal band whose hits include ''Once Bitten, Twice Shy'' and ''Rock Me.'' The concert also featured the Canadian group Fathead.

    The fire comes four days after 21 people were killed and more than 50 injured during a stampede in a Chicago nightclub that began when a security guard used pepper spray to break up a fight.
  2. That's sad, and just a few days after another club disaster! It's a shame that people are dying when all they were looking for was to go out and have a good time....:(
  3. I personally feel the only time any pyrotechnic crap should be used at all is outside.
  4. pyrohr


    Aug 28, 2001
    Pakistani compound
    Just saw the footage. there was a cameraman who was inside and caught it on tape! Flames shot up to the ceiling (which appeared to be no more than 12 to 15 feet) and spead across the ceiling. People just watched it and one person was heard to say " ohh thats cool". By the time(seconds) they realized there was a problem it may have been too late for some. The cameraman is actually shown on the footage filming while he was leaving and people just standing there. A sad day.
  5. Tim Cole

    Tim Cole

    Jun 12, 2002
    Findlay, Ohio
    Just saw the death count has been raised to 24, and 164 known injured in hospitals :( How sad.

    Hindsight is 20/20, but you are right chris.....from the looks of the footage, that was a hell of a stupid idea to try to pull that off in that club. The place went up instantly, I'm not sure how whoever put the pyro rig up couldn't of seen this coming.

    This raises a lot of questions that apparently need addressed NOW.

    Most of the clubs I frequent, or gig at have very little space to get out, and as little as two 36" doors, and sometimes get in excess of 300 people. Time to toughen the laws.
  6. yoshi


    Jul 12, 2002
    England, London
    I've a video with this band amongst others playing live from about the 80's that my mum picked up at a carboot sale. If im right, doesn't their bassist tap just about all of the basslines?
  7. Tim Cole

    Tim Cole

    Jun 12, 2002
    Findlay, Ohio
    Also, the guitar player is the member who is still currently missing. :(
  8. Latest from the fire chief has it that the club was licensed for 300 people and that there were less than that in the club at the time. Also, death count has risen to 39. The chief also said that his men affected rescue of around 100 people but didn't have hard numbers.

    Police chief said that the band's tour manager asked if pyro could be used in the club and was told by owners that it was OK. PC also went on to say that no pyro license was issued to the club at the time of the show.

    Apparently, this was the first song of the night
  9. gweimer


    Apr 6, 2000
    Columbus, OH
    I saw the video this morning. Tragic. Having done pyro stuff in bands in the past, I don't think I'd have used that spitting sparks/flame effect in a room like that. Getting permission and showing good sense aren't always the same thing.
  10. That's absolutly horrible.

    It's all just making me want to stay in, first the disaster in Chicago, now this, why?

  11. You're 100% right, Chris. Even then extreme care must be used. This may be the swan song for pyro stuff at concerts.

    Imagine losing a child or a freind in such a meaningless way. :(

  12. i just think it's stupid... fireworks inside of a club WITHOUT A TECHNITION?! HOW RETARDED DO YOU HAVE TO BE... well, it was an washed up 80s band...
  13. JMX

    JMX Vorsprung durch Technik

    Sep 4, 2000
    Cologne, Germany
    I doubt that the band had a direct hand in how the pyros were installed/operated, I guess they had a tour manager or something who hired that poor soul who screwed this up.

    I was also surprised how fast that back wall burned, looks like there was too much inflammable material installed in/on the walls etc.
  14. Nate Dawg

    Nate Dawg

    Apr 8, 2000
    Denver, CO
    CNN is reporting that the death count is around 54 now.

    Pyro indoors = dumb
  15. Boplicity

    Boplicity Supporting Member

    Just saw a report minutes ago on NBC Today. The club's walls were made of foam or lined with foam. What could be a greater fire hazzard? Also, there were no sprinklers because the building was too small by state law to require sprinklers.

    Great White's lead singer was on and said that the band has used the same pyro for twenty-one years with no problem. I guess they don't recognize that such a record does not make the pyro fool-proof.

    He said he had "no words" to describe how terrible he feels for the families of the victims. He didn't mention if all the band members escaped. One thing he said that was hard was that all the lights went out and the building became completely dark (I guess except for the flames and smoke.) He also said he would live with the horror of what happened all his life (as will many others.)

    The head of the R.I. trauma unit dealing with the surviving victims said some may not survive, some will require many months or years of restorative surgery and physical therepy and many will be scarred for life.

    The firemen still have no idea how many victims they will yet find in the ashes because they have only just put out the last of the "hot spots" and haven't started a search yet.

    What a tragedy! I expect most of the victims both those who survived and those who did not are quite young. Also that this comes in the wake of another night club tragedy in the very same week seems overwhelming to contemplate.

    I shudder to think because I recall some of the firetraps my band played in back in my heavy metal days. There really needs to be more care taken in places that serve large numbers of people in a small space. This club, unlike the one in Chicago, had no locked doors or blocked doors, but the construction that allowed foam wall covering togther with allowing pyro may have contributed to this terrible event.
  16. Bryan R. Tyler

    Bryan R. Tyler TalkBass: Usurping My Practice Time Since 2002 Staff Member Administrator Gold Supporting Member

    May 3, 2002
  17. Boplicity

    Boplicity Supporting Member

    Just saw Jack Russel the lead singer on Fox News. Ty Longley, sp?, the guitarist is missing. It sin't known if he may be in the hospital or if he never made it out of the club. Ty has been with the band three years. The lead singer is devastated and says he went around outside talking to victims some of whom had "skin hanging off." He says it is "the worst experience of his ebtire life."

    Dang! This is so sad.:bawl:
  18. Boplicity

    Boplicity Supporting Member

    Here's some more news. The band appears to have lost its soundman, also. Russell is now saying the pyro is low-heat and he could run his hand through it and never be burnt. He says the walls of the club were made of a highly combustible, non-flame retardant foam.

    The news reporter (stupidly) asked if this is the end of Great White. Russell said they are canceling the next several tour dates, but it is too early to know what will happen next. He said the band is all about making music.

    Latest stats: Fifty-four known deceased, 160 in area hopsitals, 19 in critical condition.

    The band is appealing to anyone who might know the location of Ty Longley to please let them know where he is and how he is doing.