A nightclub in Bucharest, Romania burst into flames last night after a pyrotechnics display went wrong, killing at least 27 and injuring 180.
Between 200 and 300 people are thought to have been celebrating Halloween in the Colectiv nightclub in the countries capital over night, when a fireworks display malfunctioned resulting in a blazing fire. It’s understood most of the revellers were teenagers and young people, and it’s thought there are still some people unaccounted for.
According to witnesses speaking to Romanian media, the blaze started on stage and quickly spread to the walls and ceiling, before an explosion covered the venue in thick, black smoke. Many people initially thought the fire was part of the show.
A young woman told Antena 3 news:
In five seconds the whole ceiling was all on fire. In the next three we rushed to a single door.
Victims have been admitted to 10 hospitals throughout Bucharest, where doctors and nurses are treating them for burns, smoke inhalation and those who were crushed in the stampede to escape the club.
Raed Arafat, the head of emergency response at the interior ministry, spoke to the Guardian:
This incident is unprecedented in Romania. All of the wounded have now been identified, and those who died are being examined by the medical examiners.
A young man in his 20s waiting at one of the hospitals this morning, again spoke to the Guardian:
I found out two of my colleagues were there tonight. They are doing badly. They are currently in intensive care, with severe burns. I checked with my friends and colleagues to make sure everyone was all right and found out about the two.
Off duty doctors and nurses have been called in to assist with the casualties, while supplies like ventilators have been redistributed from other hospitals. Romanian President Klaus Iohannis issued a statement online saying how shocked he is at the catastrophe, and that he urges people to stand together in solidarity.
The British Foreign office has said it is unaware of any British nationals being among the injured or dead. Our thoughts go out to those affected by this horrifying disaster.