Death Toll from Romanian Nightclub Fire Mounts to 44
The death toll from last week’s nightclub fire in Bucharest has increased to 44 after three more people died from injuries on Sunday, the Romanian authorities said.
Doctors say some 100 wounded remain hospitalised, among them 44 in critical condition, AFP reported.
The tragedy sparked mass anti-government protests and brought down Romania's government led by Prime Minister Victor Ponta. Many people view compromised safety standards at the Colectiv nightclub as emblematic of Romania's bigger problem with widespread corruption.
The fire was started by fireworks which set ablaze sound insulation foam during a rock concert. An estimated 400 people were inside when fire broke out, prompting a stampede towards the club’s only exit.
The club’s three owners have been arrested amid allegations that the venue was overcrowded, lacked emergency exits, and may not have been authorised to hold such a concert.
Cristian Popescu Piedone, mayor of the Bucharest district where the club is located, had been taken into custody after evidence emerged that he had granted a working permit for the club without authorization from the firefighting service, anti-corruption prosecutors said on Saturday.
Consultations over a new Romanian prime minister will resume next week after initial talks with political and civil society leaders yielded no candidate.
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