• Short Summary

    New Year revelry turned to tragedy at a nightclub and cafe in La Louviere, Belgium, early on Thursday (2 January) when a gas explosion and fire ripped through the building, crowded with young people celebrating the start of 1976.

  • Description

    New Year revelry turned to tragedy at a nightclub and cafe in La Louviere, Belgium, early on Thursday (2 January) when a gas explosion and fire ripped through the building, crowded with young people celebrating the start of 1976.

    The explosion and fire spread rapidly through the building, trapping scores of young people. It claimed the lives of at least 15, and another 33 were injured, five of them seriously.

    A Red Cross spokesman said most of the dead and injured were between the ages of 17 and 22.

    The explosion and fire turned the "Six-Minus-Nine" cafe into a huge inferno, almost totally destroying the building.

    The local Fire Chief, Mr. Louis Woit, said some of the victims were burned to death after being trapped in a small room used for dancing, at the back of the building.

    He said others were asphyxiated in the toilets, where they fled to escape the flames.

    Many of the dead were engulfed by the flames after being crushed to the floor as the revellers stampeded to get through a narrow passage nary form the cafe to the street.

    Mr. Woit said there was no fire exit at the back of the building and the front door was locked, leaving only the narrow passageway as a means of escape.

    The Fire Chief said the premises were registered only as a cafe and not as a dance hall, for which Belgian fire regulations are stricter.

    Legal authorities form the nearby city of Mons are investigating the cause of the accident and the cafe owner, Mr. Jean-Maire Naline, is assisting with enquiries.

    SYNOPSIS: New Year revelry became tragedy at La Louviere in southern Belgium on Thursday, when fifteen people died and thirty-three were injured in a fire at a cafe.

    The cafe was crowded with young people. Local Fire Chief, Mr. Louis Woit, said most of the dead, were aged between seventeen and twenty-two.

    Mr. Woit said some victims were burned to death in a small back room used for dancing. Others were asphyxiated when trapped in the toilets where they fled to escape the flames.

    Others were engulfed by the flames after being crushed to the floor as the revellers stampeded to get through a narrow passage way leading out into the street. Mr. Woit said the passageway was the only means of escape.

    The Fire Chief said there was no fire exit at the back of the building and the front door was locked. Authorities form nearby Mons are investigation the incident.

  • Tags

  • Data

    Film ID:
    VLVAAZP7KERGYR2AOPYH82S86FAT9
    Media URN:
    VLVAAZP7KERGYR2AOPYH82S86FAT9
    Group:
    Reuters - Source to be Verified
    Archive:
    Reuters
    Issue Date:
    01/01/1976
    Sound:
    Unknown
    HD Format:
    Available on request
    Stock:
    Colour
    Duration:
    00:01:05:00
    Time in/Out:
    /
    Canister:
    N/A

Comments (0)

We always welcome comments and more information about our films.
All posts are reactively checked. Libellous and abusive comments are forbidden.

Add your comment