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CNN BREAKING NEWS

Massive Club Fire

Aired February 21, 2003 - 05:46   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.

CAROL COSTELLO, CNN ANCHOR: But right now we want to head back live to Providence, Rhode Island, near West Warwick, Rhode Island, and dip in to our affiliate.
Let's listen to see what's going on now.

PAM, WPRI-TV ANCHOR: It was a Grammy Award winning male rock band that was playing. And earlier this -- overnight we heard from the leader of the band, who said that they did have permission to do this, according to him. We want to tell you a little bit about the band, too, because, as we understand this morning as the story continues unfolding before all our eyes at this hour, one of the band members is missing.

STEVE, WPRI-TV ANCHOR: You see two -- you see two guitarists up there. And...

PAM: Yes. One jumping from the stage, actually,...

STEVE: Right.

PAM: ... when the fire gets intense. Here is a picture of the band at a little bit earlier than recent pictures that we have.

STEVE: And the lead guitarist is a fellow by the name of Mark Kendall. And at 1:15, this is now two hours and 15 minutes after the fire began Thursday night, the lead singer was reporting that he was not found.

Here's another missing person. You see -- may notice Ozzy Osbourne on the right. On the left is the DJ of the night, his name is -- the MC for the night was The Doctor. He works with WHJY. And he was there giving away freebies to fans of the radio station, introducing the band. And he had just been on the stage introducing the band and then disappeared into the crowd. And as of this hour has not been accounted for and is considered missing for now.

PAM: So these are some of the tragic circumstances that we're covering for you this morning. And again, you see the band the Great White.

We want to go back over to Rhode Island Hospital where this morning we can tell you there are 60 victims of this tragic nightclub fire in West Warwick, half of them are in critical conditions, others seriously hurt with burns, smoke inhalation.

Mark Zinni is there live. He's been there throughout the night, and he has actually spoken with some of the families of victims -- Mark.

MARK ZINNI, WPRI-TV REPORTER: Yes, good morning, Pam and Steve.

You know obviously this morning a lot of people still trying to come to grips with exactly what went on here. Just a short time ago, Joe DiBona Jr., his parents, actually, came out of the hospital, very grief stricken about what has gone on here, telling me that their son right now is in intensive care and that it does not necessarily look good.

Let's take a look at what they have to say.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JOE DIBONA: Actually, we got a call and him and his friend went to the place. His friend went to Lady of Fathom (ph) and they couldn't find my son, Joe, and we panicked. Finally went to King (ph) County Hospital. They said finally, after a half hour, an hour or so, they found out he was there, then they transported him to here, intensive care unit, trauma unit. So...

QUESTION: (UNINTELLIGIBLE).

DIBONA: Yes.

QUESTION: Sorry, his name?

DIBONA: Joe, Joe DiBona.

QUESTION: Spell that for me?

DIBONA: Capital Di, capital Bona.

QUESTION: And your name -- sir?

DIBONA: Joe, also.

QUESTION: Also Joe?

DIBONA: Yes.

QUESTION: What is his last -- what's the last name?

DIBONA: DiBona, capital Di, capital Bona.

QUESTION: Can you tell us again when you were in the hospital...

QUESTION: Is it Joe Jr.?

DIBONA: Jr.

QUESTION: ... what did officials in there tell you? What were they doing?

DIBONA: Well they would -- they were very helpful, very helpful. I mean of course it was a -- it was a turmoil, you know, and they were very helpful, that's all I can say. You know and he's in the trauma unit, intensive care. He's heavily sedated. He's on a breathing apparatus. He's burnt pretty bad. It's devastating.

QUESTION: You going to (UNINTELLIGIBLE)?

DIBONA: Yes, it's terrible.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ZINNI: You heard Mr. DiBona there say that his son is on a breathing apparatus. That is what hospital officials are saying that many of these 60 people that were brought here are actually on this morning. Sixty of them brought here, 30 of them in intensive care, including Mr. DiBona Jr. Obviously his parents just trying to come to grips. As a matter of fact, you could see there Mrs. DiBona couldn't even speak. I mean obviously so just in shock about this whole situation. No one knows exactly what's going to happen next.

COSTELLO: OK, we're going to break away right now because certainly it's a shocking situation in West Warwick, Rhode Island. The Station, a nightclub, became totally engulfed in flames when a pyrotechnic's display behind the band playing ignited

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