INTRODUCTION: In the Irish Republic, forty-nine people died in the early hours of Saturday morning (13 February) when fire swept through a Dublin discotheque.
LV & SV PAN Rescue workers helping people out of Stardust Disco in Dublin. (MUTE) (2 SHOTS)
LV & CU Flames coming from roof. (2 SHOTS) (MUTE)
SV & CU Firemen with breathing apparatus hosing flames. (MUTE) (2 SHOTS)
SV Bodies loaded onto ambulance. (MUTE) (2 SHOTS)
SV Onlookers watch injured man taken away. (MUTE)
SV PAN Smoke coming from disco windows. (MUTE)
SV Body taken away. (MUTE)
GV PAN INT Burned out room. (MUTE)
CU Irish Prime Minister Charles Haughey speaking.
SV & CU Injured in hospital. (3 SHOTS)
CU survivor speaking. (2 SHOTS)
SPEECH ON FILM (TRANSCRIPT)
SEQ. 9: HAUGHEY:"This is my native parish, and I would know, I know a very, very large number of the families concerned."
REPORTER:"Can you say how much you know at this stage about the fire and the background to it?"
HAUGHEY:"No, I can't say anything to it, I've just got very quick reports here from the Gardai who are on the scene, naturally investigating it completely, and I've spoken to some of the people who were actually involved in the tragedy last night. But it's too early yet to come to any conclusion about it."
SPEECH ON FILM (TRANSCRIPT)
SEQ. 11: SURVIVOR:"I was sitting at the very back of the dance hall and suddenly a flame came out of nowhere, and I seen three men trying to put it out, and then suddenly it burst into a bigger flame and started to spread to the curtains and all over the place. And the DJ who was on the stand said everybody don't panic, just try to make our way to the doors as easy as you can, and of course, everybody panicked; and that caused chaos and everybody was standing on each other; it was crazy."
REPORTER:"How did you get out yourself?"
SURVIVOR:"I managed to make it to the main door, where, I think, there was about a hundred people with me. And I was pushed back, and therefore my hands, my whole body, fell into the fire which was coming in, and nobody could breathe for about three minutes. I don't know how any of us lasted."
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: INTRODUCTION: In the Irish Republic, forty-nine people died in the early hours of Saturday morning (13 February) when fire swept through a Dublin discotheque. Many others were badly burned. Police said they were treating the fire as arson, after witnesses reported that they had seen two youths setting chairs alight.
SYNOPSIS: The fire broke out only fifteen minutes before closing time at 2 a.m., and within minutes, the Stardust Cabaret -- Dublin's most popular discotheque -- was ablaze. Eight hundred youngsters were packed into the hall, and many of them panicked as they tried to escape the flames and smoke. Plastic tiles on the disco ceiling melted and dropped flaming onto the milling crowds below.
Firemen with breathing apparatus struggled to enter the building through choking black smoke given off by furniture stuffed with polyurethane.They had to battle against survivors trying to get back inside the disco to rescue trapped friends. According to police and firemen, many of those brought out were so seriously burned they were not expected to survive. Others suffered severely from smoke inhalation -- but they were comparatively lucky.
Windows were barred, and rescuers were left with bleeding hands after their efforts to break in. Bodies were found piled up by the emergency doors, and many were impossible to identify. The Stardust, a converted factory, had no sprinklers or smoke detection systems, although it had been granted a licence by the authorities. The Irish Prime Minister, Charles Haughey, spoke to reporters when he visited the scene.
Survivors in hospital said the fire appeared to spread from a stack of chairs to the disco's false ceiling. One survivor described what happened.