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The Nation

Nightclub Fire Death Toll Falls to 96 in Final Count

February 28, 2003|From Associated Press

PROVIDENCE, R.I. — The death toll from a fatal nightclub fire was lowered by one to 96 on Thursday.

Gov. Donald L. Carcieri said the final count was determined after the medical examiner completed examining all the remains. The discrepancy came while investigators were trying to identify body parts.

All the victims have been identified after "painstaking work matching up lots of information and records," the governor said.

About 60 people remained hospitalized, including 36 in critical condition.

The fire swept through the Station nightclub in West Warwick after the heavy metal band Great White set off a pyrotechnic display Feb. 20. Officials with the band say they had approval to use the special effects, but the club owners, brothers Jeffrey and Michael Derderian, have denied giving permission.

Fire investigators believe the pyrotechnics ignited soundproofing behind the stage.

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