Fire at the Colective Club, Bucharest (There was NO explosion)

Update 45 people died so far, most of them died this weekend (6-8 Nov. 2015)

Some of their faces, and a tribute.

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This post is not about books. It is about what had happened in my home country, Friday October 30.

On October 30 towards October 31, there was a rock concert at Colectiv Club (eng. Collective), Bucharest. The band  Goodbye to Gravity was playing, and promoting their new album. Everybody was happy, and having a good time. Hundreds of people were inside. For the purpose of having an interesting show, the band put 4 cake fireworks: two on the stage, two on the scene’s posts. Nothing explosive, and nothing dangerous. For some reason, the foreign, and some national news posts said it was an explosion. If there was an explosion, everybody would’ve been dead.

In fact, nothing dangerous should’ve happened, since cake fireworks are used inside clubs all the time.

However, the ceiling and the posts were isolated with…sponges. Yes, sponges ! ! ! The cake fireworks set the sponges on fire. At first, it was only the post, as you can see in the picture below (source: facebook, but it’s all over internet now)

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The band’s singer asked for a fire extinguisher, but for some reason it never arrived. Either they didn’t have one, or they didn’t have enough time.

Since the ceiling was also covered in sponges, the fire began to spread on the ceiling as well. [The sponge burned to a temperature of 600 degrees (Celsius).] And the nightmare started.

People started to panic and rushed to the door. There was only one door, the other entrance being blocked. 300-500 people trying to get out through a tiny door.

Many people, more than 180 suffered burns, while around 90 of them are fighting for their life.

One nurse that arrived there with the ambulance crew described what she saw:

“First two victims. They were walking, screaming, crawling. Disfigured young people. Many were screaming. We were only two ambulances. One of the victims, a young girl, was badly hurt. She was screaming at me to ask to come more paramedics. She was begging. She said there were 300 young people inside, burned, trampled. I begged, crying, the dispatched to send more people because there are many burned humans. I was crying. They burned, and they were jumping on me, they were screaming. Many wanted to get inside the ambulances. And we couldn’t take the injured young girl. They weren’t stepping aside.

Only after that, the nightmare started. Four more badly injured people came. They were slamming on me. On the ambulance. Their skin was melting; their flesh. Now I’m really crying. They were screaming to take them, to not leave them behind. I begged the dispatched to send more ambulances, because it’s chaos. The police must come. They were tearing my jacket.

Then, a fireman came, he was carrying a 18 year old young girl, her body burned 98%, and he was begging me in tears: ‘Take her faster from my arms. Lord, she’s so young! Save her! I also have a daughter at home!’. I felt sick. More were coming, so many. They were crammed inside the ambulances. The civil were screaming, the injured young people were pulling on doctors, almost snatching their clothes. They were begging to be helped, to be saved. They were throwing themselves in the front of the ambulances. They were hitting with their fists the ambulances.

I have burned flash marks on me, on my equipment. The chief firefighter was sobbing. He was in shock. He was screaming: ‘Why?’. The burned young girl didn’t have clothes anymore. Then, I entered Coltea (hospital), screaming, with four badly injured people. I was screaming: ‘all the doctors are needing, it’s a carnage!’ Everybody was in shock. I saw hell!

Two paramedics remained on the scene. There were six young people, on the street, in cardiopulmonary arrest. The ambulance’s driver revived people for hours, up until his tension increased, and his nose started to bleed.

There was also a 16 year old! 16! The crew cried while they were reviving him. They were not giving up. Then, his brother was brought to me. He was bad, burned completely. His eyes were swollen and red; he was crying. He asked: ‘How bad I am?Is it grave?’.

Then they brought another one. He was 70% [burned]. I was crying. His flesh was falling. He asked if he was still alive. If his condition is bad. He was almost in a coma. His eyes was tearing, with blood. He told me to hold his hand. I told him that I have a boy close to his age. He asked me: ‘Mammy, I’m not going to die, right?’. The smoke was still coming out of him.” (nurse: Violeta Maria Naca, 22 years experience.)

(source: my translation, original article on  expunere.com)

I apologies if my translation is not perfect. I was and still am too emotional about this subject.

Warning! Graphic Images!

As of now, 31 people lost their life. One of them has not been identified yet, and the list is still open. Their names:

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As a side note. These people were NOT homeless, druggies, or something like that. They were not satanists who asked for it, as some “Christians” said. On the other hand, it was not the Church fault either, since no priest set the club on fire, or closed down hospitals, as some atheists accused. I cannot understand this kind of people; using this tragedy to support their fixed opinions.

Most of them were young people, students, some in universities, some still in high school. Some of them were older, with families and careers. I’ll mention only two names from the black list:

Adrian Rugină (38) and Claudiu Petre (36)

Adrian was at the concert with his wife. He was also part of a band, Bucium – loved and appreciated in Romania. Adrian managed to get out unharmed, but he went back to save other people, especially the one who fall down. Witness said that he saved at least ten people. Unfortunately, he died because to the smoke.

Claudiu Petre, good friend with Adrian, took his girlfriend outside, and then we went back to save other people. He went once, saved a girl, and then went back inside to save more. Witness say Claudiu went back at least two time to try and save other people. Just like Adrian, he died because of the smoke. The doctors tried to revive him for 45 minutes, but it was too late.
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Claudiu (left) and Adrian (right)
Adrian and Claudiu were not the only ones who died trying to save their friends, and other people trapped inside. Since they were public figures, we know more about them.
Romania’s President, Klaus Iohannis, awarded Adrian and Claudiu with the “Pentru Merit” (‘For Merit’) National Order, Knight grade.
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Another public figure from Romania, Adi Despot, Vita de Vie’s solist, also tried to helped. A photographer (from mass-media I assume), saw Adi carrying a badly burned guy, even though Adi himself was also burned and full of smoke. The article said that Adi yelled at the photographer to put down the camera and help.
Two guitarists from Goodbye to Gravity band died as well.
Vlad Țelea, guitarists, was 37 years old, husband and father.
Mihai Alexandru died in the hospital.
Alex Galutz – soloist, is in the Elias Hospital
Alex Pascu –  bass, International Fencing Federation’s vice president, is in the Floreasca Hospital.
Costi Ignat, member of the Monarchy Band, also died.

The whole country, myself included, are horrified and saddened by what happened. We pray, we morn, we cry. 3 days of national mourning; for others it will probably be forever. I cannot imagine what the survivors feel, what the parents of the dead people are going through . . . I don’t know what else to say. I just hope this tragedy, the victims, and the heroes, will not be forgotten…

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~L

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