FIRE KILLS 26 AT US GIG

Disaster strikes after the pyrotechnics of metal band Great White cause a flash fire in a Rhode Island venue...

At least 26 people have died and over 100 were treated at hospital after a fire swept through a gig venue during a rock gig at RHODE ISLAND in the US.

One of the members of the band who were playing at the Station nightclub, Great White, is among those missing after the group’s pyrotechnics started a flash fire.

According to reports from the US, the fire erupted at around 11pm last night (February 20) after the pyrotechnics at the start of the show ignited foam on the walls. Latest figures, according to Reuters, put the number of people taken to hospital at 164, with at least 26 dead and nine critically injured. The number of dead is expected to rise.

More than 300 people were estimated to be inside the building. Hundreds of firefighters attended the blaze, which was described by some witnesses on American TV as the worst they had ever seen.

The band’s lead singer, Jack Russell, said the venue “went up like the Fourth of July”.

Great White were heavily influenced by Led Zeppelin, releasing a tribute album to them in 1999. Formed in the 1980’s, they were nominated for a Grammy for their song ‘Once Bitten, Twice Shy’.