Medic at 1979 ‘The Who’ stampede: It was the worst of scenarios - Cincinnati News, FOX19-WXIX TV

Medic at 1979 ‘The Who’ stampede: It was the worst of scenarios


This Thursday, 36 years to the day, victims of chaos that killed 11 concert-goers will forever be memorialized. 

A new monument will be unveiled outside U.S. Bank Arena to remember those trampled to death at The Who concert in 1979.

On Tuesday, a man who was inside helping to treat the injured and deceased is speaking for the first time since the tragedy.

"We're here to really honor the victims, respect them, all of them,” say Guy Ninio.

Ninio was contracted to help provide standby ambulance services at the arena for concerts, including the night The Who played.

Of the thousands who went to the concert, 11 of them died, dozens more were injured and thousands more will never forget.

"I was 22.  I thought I was ready for anything,” Ninio said.  “I was faced with the worst of scenarios.”

Ninio said he tried to treat seven of the dead in a small first aid room inside the arena.  His partner was caught in the chaos.

"He burst into the room a few minutes later, and I just looked up at him as I'm doing CPR to my victim, and just told him, 'Pick the pinkest one and go,’” Ninio told FOX19 NOW.

He lives in Los Angeles now.  Ninio says his rescue efforts were criticized in the days following the stampede.  From there, business went dry and he said he had to leave town. 

This past October was the first time Ninio says he’s been back to the arena since that night.

"No one could have been prepared for that,” he said.

He says he’s now on a mission to bring closure to the families still suffering, and the people who were also there that night still suffering from the events.

"We are here to honor and respect the fallen, but we also need to honor and respect and find a turning point for closure for those who are still holding vigil,” Ninio said.

The memorial will be unveiled Thursday night at 7 PM, according to a Facebook post by the Cincinnati USA Music Heritage Foundation.

At a gathering last year, Mayor John Cranley first announced plans for a memorial saying, “Within a year we will have a memorial here permanently marking the history.”   

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