Thousands gathered in University Square in Bucharest Tuesday night for a protest urging the resignation of the Mayor of District 4, Cristian Popescu Piedone, Prime Minister Victor Ponta and Deputy Prime Minister Gabriel Oprea after an announcement posted to social media for a protest rally following the Colectiv Club tragedy. The message of the protesters was ‘Let no more people be sacrificed in the name of bribe!’
The protesters were shouting at the University Square “Resign! “, “Solidarity”, “Remember Piedone, your day has come!”
Some protesters are carrying placards saying “We are the generation that changes history!” and “Corruption kills!”
They also sang the first lines from Romania’s national anthem.
Lit candles were placed in the shape of a cross before the fountain at the University Square to the memory of those killed in the Colectiv club fire on Friday evening in the city.
The mayor of District 4, where the Colectiv nightclub is located, said on Saturday he had nothing to blame himself for and that, as far as the local administration was concerned, the club was operating legally.
The District 4 Municipality claims the nightclub was operating under the affidavit according to which all specific operating conditions were met.
Casualty report of the devastating Colectiv fire: 32 deaths, 135 injured victims
The casualty report of the devastating Colectiv fire has reached 32 deaths, after a 27-year old woman had died in the Pantelimon Hospital Tuesday morning. She had suffered burns covering 50% of her body surface.
Over 130 injured victims are still in various hospitals in Bucharest, 90 of them being in critical or severe condition.
The doctors had warned already on Saturday that the number of deaths might go up as, in such serious cases, the patients’ condition may deteriorate fast. On Tuesday, Health Minister Nicolae Banicioiu said several victims had lung necrosis.
“Hospitals were not overwhelmed, they continued their activity… very few European countries could have taken over this number of patients with such injuries,” Banicioiu stated, revealing that even the foreign doctors that came to Romania admitted this. Because of this, the transfer of victims to other countries was not needed. Such a transfer was not even recommended in-between hospitals, Banicioiu told journalists at the University Hospital.
Colectiv club owners brought to Court with proposal to be placed under a 30-day pre-trial arrest
Regarding the developments in the investigation, Monday night the three owners of the club – Alin Anastasescu, Paul Gancea and Costin Mincu – were taken into custody and on Tuesday they were taken to Court, where the prosecutors asked for arrest orders for manslaughter and bodily harm.
They are accused of ‘encouraging and allowing the access of a number of persons considerably over the capacity of the club, knowing that the place had no several emergency exists, and a fireworks display show indoor, whilst the place was improper for hosting such activities, being fit with inflammable material used against the law and, to avoid extra cost, with the consequence of the death and bodily harm of several persons in the club’, the prosecutor’s release reads.
It seems that the owners offered the place free of charge to the Goodbye to Gravity band that night, the condition being that they should bring a minimum of 400 participants. If the band was not able to bring so many people, they were going to be charged EUR 1,000 rental, according to Antena 3.
Monday night. Prosecutor General Tiberiu Nitu said the prosecutors’ investigation into the Colectiv club fire was being conducted at all levels, both with regard to the private companies concerned and with the public authorities, dozens of people being interviewed. One of them is the owner of the company that provided the fireworks from which the fire started.
The investigators say that the entire club was in flames within 2 minutes of the first spark from the fireworks.
Colectiv club owner Costin Mincu: I’m stunned by grief, hugely regretting what happened
Costin Mincu, one of the owners of the Colectiv club that was ripped by a deadly blaze in the evening of Oct. 30, posted a message on the Facebook page of his lawyer Vlad Hosu, saying that he wanted to turn that club into a beautiful story that however ended in a nightmare, and expressing his enormous regret at what happened Friday night.
“I am stunned with the grief inside and that surrounding me. In the night that sent us all grieving, I lost colleagues and beloved friends. Others struggle on the brink of life on hospital beds. My thoughts go to all of them in each and every moment, and this will be so from now till I close my eyes. I wanted to make Colectiv a beautiful story, because I always believed in my greatest passion: music. But the story ended up in a nightmare. A part of me died on October 30 at the club. I wish I could wipe the tears off the cheeks of those who bemoan their lost beloved. On the other hand, I cannot but stand head bowed before judgment. I enormously regret all that happened,” Mincu writes on the Facebook page of his lawyer Vlad Hosu.
Confessions of doctors who participated in the rescue from the Inferno
Doctors from the Bucharest hospitals that received victims from the Colectiv fire say it was the most difficult moment in their professional life at the ER and cannot remove the image of the victims from their minds.
‘An ambulance bought another four victims with 4th class burns. Three girls aged 29-30… an imagine, images that one cannot describe. Some of my colleagues were crying. They were working and crying. It was… apocalyptic’, said Razvan Jitianu, surgeon at the Pantelimon Hospital, according to Digi24.
The doctor said she could not forget the image of the three girls.
‘Young women and young men who had heir entire lives ahead of them… terrible. There are no words to express how I feel, it’s really a tragedy’, the doctor said.
Dr. Fiorella Mitoiu, emergency specialist, said she had heard the SMURD call but that she did not imagine what was going to happen next.
‘You can imagine I had seen before patients with burns at the ER, but never like that. I have over ten years of ER experience, but I admit, there is no comparison. (…) We were given photographs of these people, I saw what they used to look like, the girls were friends of my friends’. They were calling desperately asking me how they were doing. Knowing the way they had come and seeing how they were, beautiful and lively girls, you can imagine, we are all humans at the end of the day’, Dr. Mitoiu said.
Asked how she recognised the injured, the doctor said: ‘They were brought in with their names written with a maker on the leg’.
The foreign doctors who helped were also surprised by the seriousness of the situation.
‘I think the medical team are making a heroic effort to cope with the challenge’, said Dr. Yaron Shoham, who is helping the doctors at the Bagdasar-Arseni Hospital, according to ProTV.
The doctors also brought innovative burns treatments including a cream that costs EUR 1,000 which is especially used to alleviate pain and help the wounds heal.
‘I hope that, by being here, and with this available treatment, we help manage the catastrophe. I have never seen a tragedy this size in my whole career’, said he Israeli doctor.
Young heroes awarded by President Iohannis
President Klaus Iohannis gave post-mortem awards to two of the young people who had died in the fire by helping other people get out from the burning club Friday night.
‘The President of Romania, Mr. Klaus Iohannis, grated post-mortem the National Award
The decrees were signed on Monday.
Claudiu Petre and Adrian Rugina had managed to get out from the club on time, yet they went back in trying to save other people and died.
Government toughens penalties against establishments found with irregularities
The Government informed Tuesday night that it would give ‘urgent assistance to the families of the persons who died in the fire. The aid consisting of RON 5,000 will be given to the family of every deceased victim’.
In addition, the Executive will also offer RON 10,000 to Maria Ion’s family. ‘The woman who lost her life in the tragic fire was the only provider for her family: her 5 children aged between 11 and 23, and her paralysed father, after the death of her husband 8 years ago’, reads a Government release dispatched to Ziare.com.
Prime-Minister Victor Ponta said on Tuesday that the Government had adopted and emergency ordinance empowering the Emergency Inspectorate (ISU) to check and close establishments that do not fulfil safety requirements for operation.
‘We are adopting an emergency government ordinance to empower ISU to check these places organising events with a lot of participants and to close them by sealing on the spot. The act contains a single article which gives ISU the right to close with a seal, as ANAF does, those places and clubs that put people’s lives in jeopardy’, the PM said during the Cabinet meeting.
Roman-Catholic archbishop: “We tend to accept negligence, corruption, deceit, trickery very easily”
Roman-Catholic Archbishop Ioan Robu prayed at the Colectiv nightclub for both the dead and the living victims.
‘I don’t thing we, the Churches, have worked enough all these 25 years to drive a change in our way of thinking and acting, we tend to accept negligence, corruption, deceit, trickery very easily, we find all these petty things, but these circumstances shows they can be murderous. This is why I say we have not done too much so far – not only we, the Church, but everybody else – to change something, we have not protested when we saw lie and corruption and negligence, indifference, for they, I repeat, can be murderous, said Archbishop Ioan Robu
He said he wanted to come and pray at the place of the tragedy to send out a sign of solidarity.
His Beatitude Patriarch Daniel officiated on Tuesday, at the Patriarchal Cathedral, a memorial service for the victims of the Colectiv Club fire. Likewise, the Patriarch attended at noon the burial service of the Colectiv Club janitor who died in the fire and left five children orphans.
Charity concert for victims
Dozens of artists will give a charity concert Wednesday night to help the victims of the Colectiv club fire. The concert will begin at 22:30 at the Bamboo club. The organisers say a total of 26 artists will perform.
‘The profit will be donated to the Colectiv victims and anyone who wishes to donate will have special urns set up inside the club for the entire duration of the event’, the organisers further inform.
Admission will be free.
The 26 artists who will perform for free are: Connect-R, Raluka, Pepe, Matteo, Lidia Buble, Delia, Marius Moga, Ruby, Directia 5, Dan Bittman, Voltaj, Animal X, Andreea Banica, Alina Eremia, Randi, Uddi, Jo, Mike Diamondz, What’s Up, Carla’s Dreams, Antonio Fabrizi, Nicoleta Nuca, Lora, Nicole Cherry, Ami and Proconsul.