Romanian Police Arrest Bucharest Nightclub Owners, Fire Death Toll Rises to 32
The fallout from last weekend's tragic club fire in Bucharest, Romania continues to be felt. According to The Guardian, Romanian police have arrested the three owners of the nightclub and ITV News reports the death toll has now climbed to 32 people.
After hours of closed-door hearings, prosecutors decided to issue 24-hour arrest warrants for club owners Costin Mincu, Alin George Anastasecu and Paul Gancea, charging them on suspicion of manslaughter. The prosecutors are reportedly planning to ask for a 30-day warrant for each of the club owners.
"Data and evidence … have shown the fire occurred because the people managing the respective space encouraged and allowed a number of people above the club's limit in a space that was not endowed with more emergency exits," stated the prosecutors.
The pyrotechnic fireworks set off inside the club and caught some of the Colectiv club's insulation foam on fire. The prosecutors said that the owners also allowed for the "fireworks show in the indoor venue" and that it was improper to do so as the materials used for insulation were illegally installed in order to avoid additional costs. A local journalist told ITV News that the club only had two exits where people could escape the rapidly spreading flames.
More than 130 people reportedly still remained in the hospital Monday dealing with assorted injuries from the fire and 90 of those 130 are said to be in critical or serious condition. Among those killed in the incident were the two guitarists for Goodbye to Gravity, the band hosting a record release party at the venue. The band's singer reportedly remains hospitalized with burns over 45 percent of his body, while the band's bassist reportedly underwent emergency surgery.
A silent march was staged Sunday through Bucharest and on Monday hundreds of people gathered outside the Colectiv club to light candles and place flowers in remembrance of the victims. The country's president awarded National Merit Order honors to Adrian Rugina and Claudiu Petre, who both perished while attempting to save others at the club.
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