Dozens Killed, Hundreds Injured When Fire Erupts at a Metal Show in Romania
A show at a downtown Bucharest nightclub turned into the scene of a national tragedy in Romania on Friday when an explosive fire killed at least 27 people and injured at least another 162. There were about 400 people inside the Colectiv club to see a free show by local heavy metal outfit Goodbye to Gravity, according to the Associated Press. Two members of the band are reportedly among the dead.
Although the cause of the fire is still under investigation, witnesses said a spark from pyrotechnics onstage ignited some polystyrene decor. The club, located in the basement of a Communist-era factory, had only one exit. Local media reported that some fans didn't realize the fire wasn't part of the show and didn't immediately react to the blaze before the venue filled with smoke.
One witness told Antena 3 that the fire quickly engulfed the audience and starting burning their skin and hair. Another said people began fainting from the smoke. "It was total chaos, people were trampling on each other."
A spokesman for Romania's Interior Ministry said many of the injured – who were taken to 12 hospitals – were in critical condition, according to CNN. The mayor of Bucharest has said the club had all the necessary permits for the show. A fire specialist and prosecutor will investigate the scene to determine the cause and who is responsible.
Blabbermouth reports that several members of Goodbye to Gravity were killed or hurt in the blaze. Guitarists Vlad Telea and Mihai Alexandru were killed, while singer Andrei Galut is reportedly in serious condition with burns on 45 percent of his body and bassist Alex Pascu is believed to have already undergone surgery.
This tragedy stirs memories of the other recent deadly nightclub fires blamed on pyrotechnics igniting foam used for soundproofing: The Station nightclub fire in Rhode Island that killed 100 people in 2003 and the Kiss nightclub fire in Brazil that left 242 dead in 2013.