Bucharest Court admitted on Wednesday a request of the General Prosecutor’s Office to extend by 30 days the pre-trial arrest measure for three shareholders and managers of the tragic Colectiv club – Paul Gancea, George Anastasescu and Costin Mincu.
The Court sustained a claim lodged by the prosecutors and quashed a Nov. 27 ruling of Bucharest District 4 Court, which was the one to have decided to replace the pre-trial arrest to home arrest for the three owners.
Gancea, Anastasescu and Mincu have been in custody since Nov. 3 on charges of manslaughter and culpable bodily harm in the case of the October 30 fire at the Colectiv club.
The prosecutors argue that the fire at the Colectiv nightclub broke out because the club’s managers encouraged and allowed the access of an audience far beyond the club’s authorized capacity, and although the emergency evacuation exits were insufficient; they also allowed an indoor fireworks display in inadequate premises with flammable materials (soundproofing and decorations) installed illegally, in order to avoid additional costs. As a result, several people present in the club died or suffered bodily injuries.
In the investigation process the prosecutors seized the assets of the defendants, and started the criminal investigation of the SC Club Colectiv SRL, the company that managed the Colectiv club, and Golden Ideas Fireworks Artists SRL – tasked with staging the pyrotechnic show, under charges of manslaughter and culpable bodily injury with multiple victims.
31 patients in Bucharest hospitals, six in critical or serious state
A total of 31 patients injured in the Colectiv fire were still in Bucharest hospitals on Wednesday. Six of them were critical.
According to Health Ministry data, 30 patients are in hospitals abroad.
A month ago, on a Friday night, one of Bucharest’s popular clubs was ravaged by fire during the show of the rock band Goodbye to Gravity that were launching their new album in the presence of fiends, journalists, photographs, other musicians and hundreds of fans. The show included fireworks displays. One of the pillars near the stage caught fire, the flames quickly extended to the ceiling, both of which being covered with sound-proof foam that was not fire-proof.
Although initially the people orderly headed to the exit, panic and chaos developed shortly as the exit was blocked by victims who fell down, intoxicated.
The authorities reported a total of 26 deaths then. Another victim died on the way to hospital. Out of the 172 victims who were taken to hospitals, 147 were admitted, almost 100 of those being in critical and serious condition. A month after the fire, the Colectiv blaze death toll has reached 60.