64 people lost their life in the Colectiv nightclub fire on the night of 30 October 2015 and another 147 persons were injured. Several events, including religious services, were organised on Sunday to commemorate the victims.
Almost 5,000 people took part in a silent march in the memory of the victims of the Colectiv nightclub fire, most of the participants joining the march as it progressed. The march ended outside the Colectiv nightclub, after over an hour. People stopped at the shrine dedicated to the 64 victims.
Over 2,000 people started the march in University Square at 2 p.m., but their numbers grew along the route, close to 5,000 eventually reaching the destination.
Outside the nightclub, people stopped for a few seconds to light candles and observe a moment of silence. The column of people had a length of over one kilometre, news.ro informs.
British Ambassador Paul Brummel took part in the march too. From among Romanian politicians, former Culture Minister and fresh USR candidate Vlad Alexandrescu took part in the march.
The parents, relatives and friends of the Colectiv victims, as well as persons who survived the fire, were among those who gathered at University Square, news.ro informs.
They carried banners, flowers and candles. A group of pupils from Slatina, carrying 64 white balloons, also took part in the march.
A remembrance church service was also scheduled for Sunday before the place where the club used to stand.
At the same time, a religious service was scheduled at the Cotroceni Church, for the memory of the victims of the fire. Survivors and relatives of the deceased attended it.
Colectiv fire memorial unveiled at the scene of the tragedy
A monument to the memory of 64 people killed in an October 30, 2015 blaze at Colectiv club in Bucharest, was unveiled on Sunday at the scene of the tragedy.
Attending the unveiling were parents, relatives and friends of the people killed in the fire. They were joined by Princess Margareta, Princess Maria and Prince Radu.
The monument, an angel, was made by Elena Surdu Stanescu.
“The death of so many children should not be in vain. Since that has had no consequences so far, at least we should erect a monument. The memorial will be moved further from its current provisional position. I hope it will mean light, because in our vision it does mean hope and light. They died here and it is here where they soar. We hope things will change,” said Eugen Iancu, the father of one of the young people killed in the fire and a representative of the Colectiv Association.
Asked whether anything has changed in the year since the tragedy, he said: “Very little, but we are still hoping for more change.”
“Ever since the start of the year we wanted very much for this monument to exist and we fought as hard as we could for it to be built. We don’t want people to forget what happened on 30 October 2015, the 64 young people who are no longer with us should not be forgotten. This monument was necessary because as long as people remember what happened they will make sure, in the future, to avoid any actions that would lead to such tragedies,” said Eugen Iancu, founding member of the Colectiv GTG 3010 Association.
The monument consists of a semi-spherical foundation with a radius of one metre, made out of a block of Dobrogea rock, and a 1.6-metre high bronze sculpture. The names of the 64 victims will be carved at its basis. The monument has a cost of 70,000 Euros, approximately 48,000 Euros coming from the District 4 Local Council and the rest from donations.
According to the aforementioned source, the Colectiv GTG 3010 Association wants this inauguration to represent “change, the transition from the corruption which killed” to a state with a safe system.
The District 4 Local Council decided on October 5 to offer a sponsorship of 220,000 Lei to the Colectiv GTG 3010 Association for the construction of a monument in Bucur Square.
On Friday, Eugen Iancu, President of the Colectiv Association, called on nightclub owners to observe a moment of silence and “to point a beam of light toward the sky” on Sunday, at 10.32 p.m., the hour when the fire started inside the Colectiv nightclub one year ago.
“On Sunday, at 10.32 p.m., we will turn on a floodlight projector. I would like to ask nightclub owners, maybe they could do such a gesture at 10.32 p.m., to observe a small moment [of silence] and to point a beam of light toward the sky. We will do so at Colectiv,” Eugen Iancu said.
President Iohannis: Colectiv fire tragedy changed Romania; we ought to remember it
President Klaus Iohannis stated on Sunday, after laying a wreath of flowers at Colectiv, that one year after the fire in which 64 people were killed we should have known who is guilty for “this terrible accident,” and those who failed to understand Romania’s message will be swept away from the public scene.
“It is our duty to not let the tragedy be forgotten, it so our duty to commemorate it and to never forget the innocents killed at Colectiv. At the same time, it is also our duty to do our best for those who were here and survived: there are 128 people in need of compassion as well as treatment, counselling and empathy. We ought to take care of them,” said Iohannis.
The Head of State also said that some things have changed, but he would have liked to know who is guilty for last year’s tragedy.
“Romania has changed. If we draw the line now, a year later, we see some things have changed for the better. Verifications are clearer, more frequent in such venues that host events, there are clearer procedures in a series of domains. Other things are yet to change sufficiently. I would have liked, a year later, to know who was guilty for this terrible accident. Society has changed, people have become more aware, people are looking carefully at the venues they go to for various events, civil society has raised its voice and has justifiably asked for changes. All of this is happening and I believe these are good signs,” Iohannis said.
Asked whether the political class has changed too, Iohannis answered: “The political class is changing slowly but it’s changing. These changes are inevitable, and those who understood the Romanians’ message after Colectiv will probably hold a better position in the elections, while those who did not understand this message will slowly but surely be swept away from the public scene. Today’s Romania is no longer the Romania it was a year ago, people have more pretentions, more expectations, and this is good.”
U.S. Ambassador: Colectiv fire was preventable. Hope arose from tragedy
A year after the Colectiv fire, U.S. ambassador to Bucharest Hans Klemm stated that it is time to remember those who lost their lives in a tragedy that was preventable but from which arose hope in a Romania free from corruption.
“Today we remember those who lost their lives or were injured in the tragic, preventable Colectiv fire one year ago. Out of the tragedy arose hope. Tens of thousands of Romanians peacefully joined together to voice their desire for a Romania free from corruption, with a transparent and responsive government, and fully engaged in a Europe whole, free and at peace,” reads the message that Hans Klemm posted on the US embassy’s Facebook page.
“As we mourn again the victims, the Embassy of the United States encourages Romanians in their fight against corruption, and in their effort to build a secure, democratic and prosperous Romania,” the message continues.
Hans Klemm and his wife laid wreaths of flowers on Sunday morning at Colectiv, observing a moment of silence in the memory of the 64 people who lost their lives in the fire a year ago.
British ambassador, message of solidarity one year after Colectiv tragedy
British Ambassador to Bucharest Paul Brummel expressed his solidarity with Romanians, a year after the Colectiv nightclub fire, the diplomat taking part, along with his family, in the march of silence organised in Bucharest in the memory of the 64 people who lost their lives in the tragedy.
On Sunday, the ambassador posted on his Twitter account photos from the march, accompanied by a brief message of solidarity with all those affected by the Colectiv nightclub tragedy which took place a year ago.
Famous artists take stage in memory of youth who died in Colectiv club tragedy
The memory of those who died in the fire at the Colectiv club one year ago has remained alive for hundreds of Romanians of all ages, who attended on Friday evening at the Beraria H club the beginning of the #3010 Festival, starring famous artists and big bands of the Romanian rock scene, a charity event organised by the Association Colectiv GTG 3010.
Under the motto “Heroes never die. Keep their spirits alive,” the event has commemorated for three days the 64 young people who died in the 30 October 2015 fire and was at the same time devoted to those who have fought for one year with traumas and serious injuries.
Songs by Nexus, Florin Chilian, Compact, Talisman, Costi Camarasan Band, 7 Semne were sang along by artists and participants. An emotional moment was offered by Compact band, which ended their concert with the song “In Memoriam,” to the tunes of which the faces of those who died were displayed on a screen in front of the stage.
During the three days of festival taking the stage were bands who accepted the organisers’ call, five of them having been directly affected by the fire at Colectiv club, Catalin Scanteie, tragedy survivor and co-organiser said.
If the initiative is successful, such a project will continue, he added, considering that most treatments are very expensive.
Colectiv Association President: I ask politicians not to engage in politics today! We are the only ones allowed to do so
Eugen Iancu, President of the Colectiv GTG 3010 Association and father of one of the victims, called on televisions and politicians on Sunday not to engage in politics on the day that marks one year since the tragedy, arguing that “the Colectiv victims” are the only ones who have this right.
“I am asking television channels, but especially politicians, regardless of the office they hold or held, not to engage in politics today. Today, October 30, we, the beneficiaries of the politics you have engaged in for the last 26 years, we, the Colectiv victims, are the only ones who have the right to engage in politics,” Eugen Iancu wrote on Facebook.
The President of the Colectiv GTG 3010 Association again asked Romanian nightclubs to turn on floodlights at 10.32 p.m., in memory of the dead.
Eugen Iancu: The real cause of death was kept under wraps
“I’m not a specialist in burns, in substances, but the moment an entire room catches fire in a matter of seconds, at that speed, I find irrelevant the explanations that the door opened, the lights turned off. The moment you are not allowed to leave on Saturday morning, you are told they are all unable to be transported, how in God’s name… out of 100-something, all of them, but absolutely all of them were unable to be transported. Then all the European hospitals these children were sent to are told to send them back without autopsy. Why? Because it was known an autopsy there would have revealed everything. And I’m not talking about bacteria. In my view, there was no desire for the real cause of death to be revealed. We were not allowed to leave, a week later we were not allowed to have autopsies abroad, my child’s autopsy was done in jest, and the air samples were taken after approximately 4 months. I have doubts. I would like to believe there is no mind in Romania capable of doing this, but the fact that nobody is investigating this lead, I believe a prosecutor should have investigated, should have come out and said ‘yes, maybe there was a madman who did this,’” Eugen Iancu told Romania TV.
“On Sunday, at 10.32 p.m., we will turn on a floodlight projector. I would like to ask club owners, maybe they could do such a gesture at 10.32 p.m., to observe a small moment [of silence] and to point a beam of light toward the sky,” Eugen Ionescu said.