WHAT WENT BEFORE: Ozone Disco is No. 6 in world’s deadliest nightclub fires

A+
A
A-

The deadliest nightclub  fire in world history with 492 persons killed happened 61 years ago at the Cocoanut Grove in Boston, Massachusetts, according to a list compiled by the international nonprofit organization, National Fire Protection Association (NFPA).

With palm trees, coconuts, dancing and laughing crowds, the Cocoanut Grove was one of Boston’s most popular nightspots before and during World War II. It was the place to go to have a good time. A small fire which broke out in a fake palm tree in the basement on Nov. 28, 1942, however, made it the place of Boston’s worst nightmare.

The fire on the basement  quickly spread across the ceiling decorations.  It took only an incredible five minutes for the fire to spread to the public stairway, the first floor foyer, the main entrance and the main dining room, and make the Cocoanut Grove an inferno from one end to the other.

To make matters worse, all the exits normally open to the public by some malfunctioning were useless for a safe escape,  trapping most  of the people inside the club.

The Ozone Disco in Quezon City was also described a “firetrap” because it lacked exit routes, fire extinguishers and warning devices.  At least 160 persons were killed and 93 others were injured during the fire that gutted it on March 18, 1996. The fire which lasted for more than an hour started at the disc jockey’s booth and immediately engulfed the whole place.

The NFPA, a world advocate to prevent fires with more than 70,000 members, lists the Ozone fire as the sixth deadliest fire in world history.

The 10 deadliest nightclub fires in world history, according to NFPA:

1. Cocoanut Grove nightclub, Boston, Massachusetts

Nov. 28, 1942

Deaths: 492

2. Disco/dance hall, Luoyang, China. (Fire began elsewhere in shopping plaza and spread to the  disco.)

Dec. 25, 2000

Deaths: 309

3. Rhythm Club dance hall, Natchez, Mississipi

April 23, 1940

Deaths: 207

4. Cromagnon Republic club, Buenos Aires, Argentina

Dec. 30, 2004

Deaths: 194

5. Beverly Hills Supper Club, Southgate, Kentucky

May 28, 1977

Deaths: 165

6. Ozone Disco Club, Quezon City, Philippines

March 18, 1996

Deaths: 160

7. Lame Horse Nightclub, Perm, Russia

Dec. 4, 2009

Deaths: 152 (best information available as of Jan. 7, 2010)

8.Club Cinq, St. Laurent du Pont, France

Nov. 20, 1971

Deaths: 143

9. The Station nightclub, W. Warwick, Rhode Island

Feb. 20, 2003

Deaths: 100

10. Happy Land Social Club, Bronx, New York

March 25, 1990

Deaths: 87

Source: NFPA  files on major fire incidents, http://www.nfpa.org and Inquirer Archives

Disclaimer: The comments uploaded on this site do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of management and owner of INQUIRER.net. We reserve the right to exclude comments that we deem to be inconsistent with our editorial standards.

  • enteng

    Proud to be pinoy! top 6!

    • gmaisthebestpresident

      tell that to the victims family.

    • antonioluna

      sick.

  • E. Pete Brozowski

    Get the math correct, Cocoanut Grove was 71 years ago, not 61 years as stated in your article.

  • Aries Belza Espinosa

    Wait, we should be 7th now. Wala pa sa list mo yung sa Kiss Disco sa Santa Maria, Brazil

To subscribe to the Philippine Daily Inquirer newspaper in the Philippines, call +63 2 896-6000 for Metro Manila and Metro Cebu or email your subscription request here.

Factual errors? Contact the Philippine Daily Inquirer's day desk. Believe this article violates journalistic ethics? Contact the Inquirer's Reader's Advocate. Or write The Readers' Advocate:

c/o Philippine Daily Inquirer Chino Roces Avenue corner Yague and Mascardo Streets, Makati City,Metro Manila, Philippines Or fax nos. +63 2 8974793 to 94

editors' picks

advertisement

popular

advertisement

videos