Romania suspends emergency chiefs after nightclub fire
BUCHAREST, Romania (AP) — Romania’s Interior Ministry suspended three top emergency officials Wednesday following information that contradicted their claim they were unaware of the existence of a Bucharest nightclub where 60 people died in a fire.
Three senior officials of the Bucharest branch of the Inspectorate for Emergency Situations initially denied knowing that the Colectiv nightclub was operating on the ground floor of a former shoe factory in the Romanian capital. A fire during a heavy-metal concert on Oct. 30 sent panicked revelers stampeding to a single-door exit. Many were fatally burned.
However, a company had faxed the inspectorate about another concert at Colectiv more than a month before the deadly fire. Emergency Situations official Raed Arafat said Wednesday the department had replied to the company in September, informing it of regulations for events. He said he had not found evidence that Colectiv had obtained a permit to function from the emergency situations inspectorate.
Prime Minister Dacian Ciolos said he wants the three government officials to be dismissed.
The three owners of the club have been charged with manslaughter.