A fire, followed by an explosion left at least 27 people dead and 180 injured in a Bucharest nightclub on Friday, The Guardian reported. The fire was set off by a spark around the stage, where a band was performing. There were between 300-400 people in Colectiv Club, and some of them remain unaccounted for, officials said.
Locals told the BBC that the club was previously a factory, and had two exits, of which only one was open when the fire started. Terrified people broke down the second door in attempts to get out, but many fainted during the stampede that followed. Many victims suffered from smoke inhalation and burn injuries and are being treated. Romanian interior minister Gabriel Oprea was at the scene along with emergency services. Romania’s president Klaus Iohannis said he was shocked by the deaths. “It is a very sad day for all of us, for our nation and for me personally. I am deeply grieved by the tragic events that happened this evening,” he said in a public statement.
Investigators are looking into whether the club had the requisite fire safety permits.