Romanian nightclub fire leaves 27 dead, 155 injured By Radu-Sorin Marinas2 hours agoEmergency services work outside a nightclub in Bucharest, Romania October 31, 2015. REUTERS/Inquam …By Radu-Sorin Marinas BUCHAREST (Reuters) – A fire and explosion in a Bucharest nightclub killed 27 people and injured 155 during a rock concert that featured fireworks late on Friday, Romanian government officials and witnesses said.In one of the capital’s worst disasters in decades, about 400 people, mostly young adults, stampeded for the exit as the club in the basement of a Communist-era factory filled with smoke.Several witnesses said there were fireworks inside the club. Colectiv Club’s Facebook page said the show would feature pyrotechnic effects.A pillar and the club’s ceiling went up in flames and then there was an explosion and heavy smoke, the witnesses said.TV footage showed police officers and paramedics trying to resuscitate young people lying on the pavement while sirens wailed with more ambulances deployed to the scene.People walk outside a nightclub following an explosion in Bucharest, Romania October 31, 2015. REUT …”There was a stampede of people running out of the (Colectiv) club,” a man who escaped without shoes told Reuters.A young woman who was released from the hospital after minor injuries described the club bursting into flames.”In five seconds the whole ceiling was all on fire. In the next three, we rushed to a single door,” she told television station Antena 3.The victims were admitted to 10 hospitals in Bucharest, said Deputy Interior Minister Raed Arafat.”The situation is slowly stabilizing … we have many people with burns, intoxicated with smoke and people squashed,” he said, adding many victims have no identification.Emergency services work outside a nightclub in Bucharest, Romania October 31, 2015. REUTERS/Inquam P …Deputy Prime Minister Gabriel Oprea said an investigation into the causes of the incident was already under way, and the health minister launched a public appeal for blood donations.Romania’s President Klaus Iohannis said in a statement: „I want to assure you of all support from rescuing forces and ask you to trust they put all efforts to limit the impact of this catastrophe.”An emergency meeting of cabinet ministers was set for early on Saturday to assess the incident.Some of the deadliest nightclub disasters in the world were started by fireworks.In the southern Brazilian college town of Santa Maria in 2013, a musician lit an outdoor flare inside the Kiss nightclub and started a fire that killed at least 241 people, investigators said.Fireworks were also blamed for nightclub fires in Russia’s Perm that killed 156 people in 2009 and in Argentina’s Buenos Aires in 2004 that killed 194.(Reporting by Radu Marinas; Additional reporting by Luiza Ilie; Editing by Lisa Shumaker)
Bucharest disco blaze kills 27, scores injuredBy Isabelle le Page48 minutes agoBucharest (AFP) – At least 27 people were killed and more than 160 injured after a fire ripped through a nightclub in Bucharest, in one of the worst accidents to hit the Romanian capital.The blaze broke out at around 11:00 pm (2100 GMT) at the Colectiv night club, where hundreds of people had gathered for a gig by rock group Goodbye to Gravity.Hospital sources said the death toll could rise as at least 25 people were in critical condition.”This is the worst tragedy of its kind” to have ever happened in Bucharest, said the secretary of state for the interior, Raed Arafat.Witnesses quoted by local media described scenes of chaos when fireworks, let off as part of the show, set fire to a pillar and part of the ceiling.The crowd panicked as thick smoke engulfed the room, leaving people scrambling to escape from the underground club located in a communist-era basement.Police have started an investigation into the incident, and in the early hours groups of sombre-face …”People were fainting, they were fainting because of the smoke. It was total chaos, people were trampled,” witness Victor Ionescu told local television station Antena 3.Many of the wounded were suffering from leg injuries after being trampled in a stampede and smoke inhalation, according to health authorities.The bassist and singer in Goodbye to Gravity, who were playing a gig to promote their new album, were among those seriously injured, Antena 3 said.- Only one exit open -Another witness, Alain Panduru, said the fire spread in seconds.Many of the wounded were suffering from leg injuries after being trampled in a stampede and smoke in …”People could not get out of the club because there was only one exit open and the stampede happened immediately,” he told online news portal Hotnews.Several media outlets reported that a second exit was closed when the blaze broke out.The interior ministry said 27 people had died so far, most of them teenagers and young people, while 162 injured were being treated in several hospitals in the capital.Police have started an investigation and in the early hours of Saturday morning groups of sombre-faced officers were still sifting through evidence outside the club.Interior Minister Gabriel Oprea said a meeting had been called of a national emergency committee from 0500 GMT on Saturday, which would include representatives from across the government.President Klaus Iohannis said he was „shocked” by the incident, adding that he was in „deep pain following the tragedy that took place this evening in the centre of the capital”.”It is a very sad moment for our nation,” he said in a post on his Facebook page, expressing his „solidarity and compassion” for the families of the victims.Oprea branded the incident a „tragedy” and his ministry said several telephone lines have been set up to keep friends and family of those hurt informed.Identifying the victims has proved difficult as many were not carrying IDs. Music website Metalhead has published a list of anyone who has been hospitalised and was able to give their name on its Facebook page.A Facebook page has already been set up calling on Romanians to donate blood.”A tragedy has happened this evening in Bucharest. There is currently enough blood, but tomorrow we will need all of you,” said a statement on the page, encouraging people to head to the city’s blood transfusion clinic in the morning.
Interior minister: 27 dead, 180 injured in fire in Bucharest clubBy Alison Mutler, The Associated Press | The Canadian Press – 1 hour 13 minutes agoThe Canadian Press – CORRECTS TO REMOVE REFERENCE OF EXPLOSION – A policeman stands at the site of a fire that occurred in a club in Bucharest, Romania, early Saturday, Oct. 31, 2015. A heavy metal band’s …more CANADA NEWS »
More Canada news »BUCHAREST, Romania – A heavy metal band’s pyrotechnical show sparked a deadly fire at a Bucharest nightclub, killing 27 people and injuring scores of the club’s mostly youthful patrons, officials and witnesses said.Interior Minister Gabriel Oprea initially said an explosion occurred Friday night at Colectiv club, located in a basement in a building in downtown Bucharest, a city of 3 million people. But authorities heading the rescue effort later said there had been a fire and no explosion.Witnesses told Antena 3 TV that there were between 300 to 400 mostly young people at the club, housed in a former factory, and only one exit door when the metal band Goodbye to Gravity was performing and a pyrotechnical show went awry. The station reported that people panicked and rushed for the exit.Digi 24 television station cited witnesses who said a spark on stage ignited some polystyrene decor.Media reported that clubgoers initially thought the flames were part of the show and did not immediately react. Fire regulations can be lax in Bucharest clubs and restaurants.An Associated Press photographer at the scene saw people wandering around outside the club clad in emergency blankets in an apparent state of confusion.Upon hearing the news, people descended on the club looking for loved ones. Adding to their anxiety was the fact that many of the clubgoers were not carrying identity papers so victims could not immediately be identified.”She’s not answering the telephone and she’s not saying anything,” said a mother, dressed in a black leather jacket, crying in front of television cameras.”We want information whether he’s alive,” said a visibly overcome woman, speaking about a family member.Media reported that emergency services arrived 11 minutes after the first call at 10:32 p.m. (2032 GMT).Victor Ionescu, who was at the club with his girlfriend, told Antena 3 TV that „people were fainting, they were fainting from the smoke. It was total chaos, people were trampling on each other.”A young man filmed by Antena 3 said that flames engulfed clubgoers, burning their skin and hair.Several major nightclub fires have been blamed on pyrotechnics igniting foam used for soundproofing, including The Station nightclub fire in the U.S. that killed 100 people in West Warwick, Rhode Island, in 2003 and the Kiss nightclub fire in Brazil, which killed 242 people in the university town of Santa Maria in 2013.Raed Arafat, a government emergency situation official, said that people were treated for burns, smoke inhalation and lesions at hospitals around the capital. Twenty-five were reported in serious condition at the Municipal Hospital.”It is a tragedy without precedent and it is an intervention without precedent,” he said.Manager of the Ophthalmological Hospital, Monica Pop, said the hospital had treated teens aged 14 to 16 for injuries.Oprea called an emergency government meeting for Saturday morning to discuss the situation.According to the Bucharest-based metal band’s Facebook page, lead singer Andrei Gault was the 2008 winner of „Megastar,” a Romanian show similar to „American Idol.” The band has five members and has released two albums since it formed in 2011.President Klaus Iohannis wrote on his Facebook page that he was „shaken and deeply hurt by the tragic event. … It is a very sad moment for us all, for our nation and for me personally.” He said he was considering declaring a day of national mourning.Prime Minister Victor Ponta, on a visit to Mexico, said he was cutting short his visit to return to Bucharest.The ministry said 60 ambulances and fire engines were sent to the scene and a mobile hospital was set up outside. About 180 people were injured, with some 50 of them taken to the Floreasca emergency hospital, the ministry said.Health Minister Nicolae Banicoiu called for people to donate blood to help the injured._This story corrects that Raed Arafat is an emergency situations official, not a health ministry official__Vadim Ghirda in Bucharest contributed to this report.