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October 16, 2021

Another victim of the Bucharest nightclub fire succumbs to wounds: Colectiv death toll climbs to 62

The number of the persons who lost their lives in the tragedy that occurred on October 30, in Bucharest Colectiv club fire reached 62, after an injured at the Burn Surgery Hospital passed away on Tuesday morning, medical sources told Agerpres this morning.

The Colectiv nightclub fire has caused another death on Monday almost one month and a half after the tragedy. 36-year-old psychologist Ioana Panculescu died on Sunday evening in the German hospital she had been transferred to. “Unfortunately, Ioana’s battle did not end as we hoped it would… Rest in peace, our darling,” the young woman’s friends wrote on Facebook.

Ioana had a tragic life story, according to Romania TV journalists. She was an orphan, her mother dying also at the age of 36. Ioana was in the nightclub with her friends when the tragic fire started. They were there to watch the launch of Goodby to Gravity’s “Mantras of War” album.

After the tragedy, Ioana Panculescu was hospitalized at the Bagdasar Arseni Hospital, in a very serious condition, and was then transferred to a clinic in Germany. Her cousins stood by her side throughout that time, hoping for a miracle. The doctors however had a cautious outlook from the start. Ioana had suffered serious burns.

According to the Health Ministry, 22 persons injured in the Colectiv nightclub fire are still hospitalized in Bucharest, 2 of them in a critical condition. Likewise, 21 persons are hospitalized abroad, two of them in critical condition, the aforementioned source informs.

So far, 60 persons that received medical care in Romanian hospitals have been discharged, 39 being transferred to hospitals abroad.

Following the Colectiv nightclub fire tragedy, the Emergency Situations Inspectorate (ISU) has banned the use of flares, torches and candles during theatre and opera shows, in restaurants and clubs. Moreover, large outdoor events with more than 200 people in attendance require a mandatory fire safety permit.
Club owners and fire fighters arrested

Antonina Radu, fire fighter at the ISU Bucharest-Ilfov Prevention Service, and Petrica Matei, ISU Bucharest-Ilfov employee, have been detained and arraigned by the National Anticorruption Directorate. The two fire fighters are accused of malfeasance in office for having failed to take any measures despite the fact that they had checked the Colectiv nightclub fire. Antonina Radu is one of the two ISU employees that had visited the Colectiv Club headquarters on three occasions without taking any measures to ensure the safety of the club’s clients.

Paul Gancea, Costin Mincu and Alin Anastasescu, the owners of the Colectiv club, were placed under preventive arrest on November 3, being accused of involuntary manslaughter in the legal case concerning the fire that left 61 people dead and approximately 200 injured. According to the High Court of Justice’s Prosecutor’s Office, the club’s owners “encouraged and allowed the access of persons in excess of the club’s capacity, against the backdrop in which the venue did not have several emergency exits, as well as an indoor fireworks show, against the backdrop in which the venue was not designed for such activities, being characterized by the existence of highly flammable materials that had been fitted in violation of the legal provisions in order to avoid supplementary costs (the sound proofing foam covering the support pillars, walls and ceiling), the consequence being the death and injury of several persons that were present in the club.”

Likewise, Daniela Nita, manager of the company that supplied the fireworks, Cristian Nita, the company’s director general, and pyrotechnician Viorel Zaharia will remain under house arrest for another 30 days, as decided by the District 4 Court.

Premier meets victims’ relatives

Prime Minister Dacian Ciolos met the relatives of the victims on Monday. The meeting took place at 6 p.m. Thus, the Premier met several representatives of NGOs and the relatives of those injured in the Colectiv nightclub fire and transferred to hospitals in Belgium.

So far, aid has been offered to the families of those injured and hospitalized both in the country and abroad.

Forty days after the Colectiv nightclub tragedy, Premier Dacian Ciolos talked about “the humility of accepting the mistakes made and of learning from them.”
“May God rest in peace those that lost their lives in the Colectiv tragedy, may He give us all the wisdom and humility of accepting the mistakes made and of learning from them. Let us not forget and let us know how to reintegrate among us all those who survived the tragedy,” Dacian Ciolos wrote on Facebook.

hree injured, discharged

Three of the injured were discharged on Monday morning. They spent one month and a half hospitalized at the Bagdasar-Arseni Hospital. Nevertheless, doctors state that their recovery is not over and they will have to visit the hospital constantly in order to continue therapy.

“This was a life lesson. A tragic lesson. I want to take this opportunity to tell the bereaved families that they have all of our emotional support. We stand by their side in their sorrow, their pain. Just like other people stood by our side in our difficult moments. There is a saying in movies and books. What does not kill you makes you stronger. We still have the duty to transmit the message that life has to be lived intensely,” Andrei Trifu, one of the patients discharged, stated.

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