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AUSTRALIA: 14 PEOPLE DIE IN CHRISTMAS DAY HOTEL FIRE.


Story

At least 14 people were killed in a fire that swept through a Sydney hotel on Christmas Day (25 December).
Twenty others were injured in the blaze which ripped through the five-story Savoy Hotel, in the centre of Sydney's nightlife centre....King's Cross.
Severe heat and thick smoke blocked off fire escapes from the building, after flames broke out in the ground floor liftwell.
The guests on upper floors were left with two options: to jump or to stay in their smoke filled rooms.
Many jumped screaming from their rooms onto mattresses on the street below.
Others scrambled to safety along hot drain pipes to an adjoining nightclub.
Most of the Savoy's residents were holidaymakers of nightclub workers. The cause of the blaze is still not known.
SYNOPSIS: "The hotel was packed with holidaymakers when the fire broke out. Flames spread quickly from a ground floor liftwell, burning along the carpeted stairways and trapping 80 guests in the floors above. The severe heat and smoke blocked off the two fire escapes, leaving people on the upper floors with two options: one to jump, the other to huddle in the smoke filled room. Men and women died doing both. Body after body was carried from the smouldering ruins inside. Many people were trapped for up to 30 minutes in the building, almost all complained that they couldn't breathe in the thick smoke. Police and fireman hand to grope through burning rubble to complete rescues. This woman was given heart massage on the way to hospital. Rescuers found people lying crumpled in their rooms....many badly burnt. Many people jumped from upper storey rooms, before firemen could bring in their hydraulic lift. Other people found inside were charred beyond recognition. Rescuers told of dragging people from red hot drain pipes. Tonight Police are still trying to complete their casualty list, but they are severally hampered because the majority of the guest were itinerates."

Reference 12384/75
Tape
Issue
Can 15605
Source AUSTRALIAN BROADCASTING COMMISSION
Restrictions Restrictions on certain uses may apply, and may vary from those listed.
Time code
Date original 25 December, 1975
Duration 1.22
Technical NEG TRK MAG 3 COL/SP
Subset Reuters TV - RTV Post 1957
Location SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA
Sound NATURAL AND ENGLISH
Colourbw

1. GV Street in Sydney, Australia, where fire occurred with fire trucks at ready. (4 shots) 0.13
2. SV Ambulancemen running through fire with a ambulance van driving into building into building area. (4 shots) 0.27
3. SV Injured victims being carried from fire. 0.45
4. SV Woman with heart attack being carried from scene of fire. .54
5. SV AND GV Victim covered by sheet being carried out of burning building. 1.12
6. CU AND GV Fire victim being carried towards ambulance. 1.22

InitialsVS 00.35 VS 00.45
EDITOR'S NOTE: This film is serviced with an English commentary by an ABC reporter. A transcript appears overleaf.
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved

Ref: BGY509290460

RTV