Turk injured in Romania nightclub fire dies

Turk injured in Romania nightclub fire dies

BUCHAREST – Agence France-Presse
Turk injured in Romania nightclub fire dies

AP photo

Two more people succumbed Nov. 7 to their wounds from a horrific nightclub fire in Bucharest that brought down the Romanian government, bringing the death toll up to 43, a hospital official said.

The chief of Floreasca hospital’s plastic surgery department said the victims - a young Romanian woman and a Turkish tourist - died a day after nine other wounded lost their lives, including two who had been transferred to the Netherlands for treatment.

“The next seven days will be the most difficult with regards to treating the wounded,” Health Minister Nicolae Banicioiu said Nov. 7. “We welcome any help, any medical teams coming from abroad.”

Romanian media criticized the authorities for failing to transfer some of the wounded to hospitals abroad in time.

“Why has Romania not asked for international help before?” Gandul daily wrote, adding that the country’s hospitals were struggling to treat more than 140 people wounded in the October 30 tragedy at the Colectiv nightclub.

Eighteen people were transferred abroad on Nov. 7 - eight to Belgium, eight to the Netherlands and two to Austria. Two more were to be flown to Britain and Hungary yesterday, the defense ministry said.

Doctors say some 100 wounded remain hospitalized, among them 44 in critical condition.

The fire broke out when fireworks let off during a rock band’s performance triggered a blaze and a stampede as panicked revelers tried to flee.

The tragedy sparked mass anti-government protests, with many viewing compromised safety standards at the club as emblematic of Romania’s wider problem with rampant corruption.

Prime Minister Victor Ponta, who had been under pressure for weeks as he goes on trial on corruption charges, quit last week, saying it was right for top officials to take responsibility for the tragedy.

Initial investigations suggest numerous breaches of the safety rules at the club, including a lack of emergency exits and the fact that flammable materials were used for sound insulation.

The club’s three bosses, detained since Nov. 3 on manslaughter charges, did not have the authorization to host concerts, let alone pyrotechnic shows.

Ponta’s resignation has not stemmed the huge protests by Romanians demanding a “profound change” in the way the country is governed.