On March 18, 1996, 162 people, mostly teenagers and young adults celebrating the end of the school year, were perished in a blaze supposed to be a party but turned out to be a tragedy. Ninety-three others were severely injured. That Monday night twisted a night full of fun to a night of inferno, being the worst fire incident in the country and the seventh-worst fire incident in the world as described by the Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP).
The Ozone Disco Fire Tragedy started with a single spark followed by a cloud of smoke that the survivors thought was part of the disk jockey's special effects. After 15 seconds, the electrical system of the disco shut down, and flames quickly became visible. Guests and staff rushed to get out of the building, but people could only open the door inwards. Many of the bodies were found along the corridor leading to that only exit. The security guards also locked the pathway from the inside as they thought commotion had taken place. Three hundred fifty customers and 40 employees were also allowed to occupy the establishment, whose use was approved for only 35 people. On the other hand, the club's emergency exit was blocked by a sofa and an LPG tank, which only led to a firewall.
In 2001, five years after the incident, Quezon City trial court found Hermilo Ocampo and Ramon Ng, the president, and treasurer, respectively, of Westwood Entertainment, guilty of reckless imprudence resulting in multiple homicides and multiple serious physical injuries and sentenced to a four-year prison term, and fined 25 million pesos each. They and other stockholders were also ordered to share in paying P150,000 to the relatives of everyone who died and P100,000 to each of the injured.
In November 2014, Sandiganbayan sentenced seven officials of the Quezon City government guilty for violating the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act with 6-10 years imprisonment. The club's owners were also found to be liable.
GoodAhh!!!, a fast food co-owned by television host Boy Abunda that “opens 25 hours” now brings vibrancy to the former site of the night club.
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