As the death toll in the Bucharest nightclub fire climbed to 31, prosecutors in the Romanian capital have filed suspicion of manslaughter charges against three of the Colectiv club’s owners. The deadly blaze, which started after stage pyrotechnics ignited flammable foam insulations next to the stage where heavy metal band Goodbye to Gravity were performing, also injured upwards of 180 people, many of whom are still hospitalized with smoke inhalation and stampede-related injuries.
Bucharest prosecutors charged Costin Mincu, Alin George Anastasescu and Paul Gancea after finding that Colectiv was well over capacity the night of the fire, which triggered a stampede among the 4oo attendees to the lone exit door, the Guardian reports. Once that door swung open, the room filled with oxygen that further fueled the fire.
“Data and evidence … have shown the fire occurred because the people managing the respective space encouraged and allowed a number of people above the club’s limit in a space that was not endowed with more emergency exits,” prosecutors said. “A fireworks show in the indoor venue that was improper as it … contained easily flammable materials illegally installed to avoid additional costs.” The three club owners charged have yet to comment on the incident.
The fire has sparked a social media movement in Romania – #CorruptionKills – accusing local authorities of failing to properly inspecting Bucharest clubs, as well as criticizing the way permits and licenses are issued. In the wake of the Colectiv fire, three more Bucharest clubs announced that they would shutter in order to undergo renovations that would make the venues safer, BBC writes, including installing sprinklers and replacing insulation with the non-flammable variety.
“We consider we have been ignorant and irresponsible. We were lucky. We don’t want to put anyone’s life in danger,” the city’s La Baza venue wrote on Facebook.