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January 31, 2023

Seven wounded dead on Saturday, Colectiv club fire toll reaches 39

One more patient died on Saturday afternoon at the Bucharest Burn Hospital, medical manager Cristian Nitescu told Agerpres. The time of death was 2.50pm; it was the third patient of this hospital to die on Saturday, and one of the five dead in hospitals of Bucharest during the day.

With two more casualties in Netherlands overnight – one Romanian and one Italian taken by airplane to Rotterdam – the death toll of the October 30 fire in the Colectiv nightclub of Bucharest dramatically increased from 32 to 39 on a single day.

Out of the 107 still hospitalized in Bucharest, the latest reports mentioned 48 in serious or critical condition. Romanian authorities have begun dispatching patients to hospitals abroad.

State secretary Raed Arafat of the Interior Ministry mentioned in a press conference that two planes flown to Brussels and Rotterdam Friday night; each was carrying eight patients (some of them intubated), including the two who eventually died.

Interim prime minister Sorin Cimpeanu announced in the same meeting with the media at Victoria Palace (Government seat) on Saturday that two planes were to take patients to Austria during the day, and the two military planes returning from Belgium and the Netherlands will be ready for other similar missions. According to him, Hungary offered to take five patients, and Norway and Finland might accept two each.

One patient died in the University Hospital of Bucharest, two in the capital’s Burn Hospital and one in the Floreasca Emergency Hospital on Saturday morning – all four among the victims of the fire in the Colectiv nightclub on October 30. The official announcements were made by doctors of the three hospitals.

Interim Prime Minister Sorin Cimpeanu later announced that two wounded in the same incident – one Romanian, one Italian – died overnight, after being taken to the Netherlands.

These casualties raised the death toll of the tragic incident to 39, while 107 injured are still treated in Romanian hospitals, according to Cimpeanu. Health Minister Nicolae Banicioiu had announced on Friday that 65 of the hospitalized were in serious and critical condition.

Interim PM: Two planes to carry Colectiv fire injured to Austria

Two planes of the Mobile Emergency Service for Resuscitation and Extrication (SMURD) will take to Austria two patients injured in the October 30 fire in the Colectiv nightclub on Bucharest, the interim prime minister Sorin Cimpeanu announced in a press conference on Saturday.

Military planes that carried other patients to Belgium and the Netherlands overnight will also return on Saturday and stand ready to transport more patients abroad, he added.

Cimpeanu thanked the countries that offered help, and mentioned that Hungary also offered to take five patients and talks were in progress with Norway and Finland to take probably two wounded each.

According to the interim PM, 107 patients admitted after the fire were still treated in Romania as of Saturday morning.

Expenses reimbursed to family members of Colectiv fire victims treated abroad

The Government will pay from its reserve funds all the costs for patients treated abroad and the expenses for accompanying family members, interim prime minister Sorin Cimpeanu announced on Saturday.

In a press conference at the Victoria Palace, he mentioned that this covers the wounded in the Colectiv nightclub fire, and all the open-and travel and accommodation expenses will be reimbursed for one family member of each victim.

“The reimbursement will be made under emergency conditions first, either through the Consular Directorates of the Foreign Ministry or through the embassies, as this ministry is already involved in the accommodation formalities, or through an emergency aid programme managed by the Labour Ministry. We will see today what is the fastest way to reimburse the expenses of family members,” Cimpeanu explained; he added that representatives of the foreign, finances, labour and justice ministries will meet on Saturday.

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