More die of injuries from Romania nightclub fire

Specialist treatment fails to save some injured in Bucharest blaze as former mayor is arrested over safety negligence.

bucharest fire
Tens of thousands of Romanians have taken to the streets to protest against what they call a corrupt administration [AP Photo/Vadim Ghirda]

Three more people died from injuries sustained in a fire at a nightclub in Romania, bringing the number of dead to 44 in a case which has sparked protests and led to the resignation of the government.

The latest victim, a young Romanian man, died on Sunday – a day after nine other wounded lost their lives.

Two who died on Saturday in the Netherlands, where they had been transported for specialist treatment.

Photos: Public discontent swells in Romania

Doctors say some 100 wounded remain hospitalised, among them 44 in critical condition.

The fire broke out last Friday night at a rock concert in the Colectiv nightclub in the capital Bucharest, when fireworks set insulation foam ablaze, triggering a stampede towards the single exit and trapping many of the roughly 400 people inside.

Tens of thousands of people subsequently took to the streets across Romania, angry at a public administration widely seen as corrupt, and the protests continued even after the cabinet resigned.

Consultations over a new Romanian prime minister will resume next week after initial talks with political and civil society leaders yielded no candidate, President Klaus Iohannis said.

Former mayor arrested

On Saturday, anti-corruption prosecutors said they had taken Cristian Popescu Piedone, the mayor of the Bucharest district where Colectiv is located, into custody. He had resigned in the wake of the protests.

They said evidence has shown that Piedone had granted a working permit for the club despite the fact it did not have authorisation from firefighters.

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“Given that several … events took place … in broadly unsafe public conditions, the lives, health and physical integrity of the audience and staff were permanently put in danger,” prosecutors said in a statement.

The club’s three owners were taken into custody on November 2.

City hall clerks and the owners of the company that installed the fireworks were also being investigated.

The fire has prompted an outpouring of community support, with people donating blood and money, and volunteers taking food and drinks to hospitals for medical staff and victims’ families.

Outside the club, people continued to light candles and lay flowers in remembrance.

Source: Reuters