Five years have passed since the fire at the Colectiv Club, but things have changed in Romania. The fire is believed to be the worst nightclub fire since a fire at a Bucharest nightclub in 2009 killed more than 230 people. Romanian authorities said a second fire at the same nightclub on Saturday night killed two more people, bringing the death toll from the horrific fire to 29. Hospital officials said four other people died from injuries sustained in the fire, bringing the death toll to 45. Putting it at the top of the list of the world’s deadliest nightclub fires in recent years.
Romanians took the streets to protest against corruption after the nightclub’s devastating fire killed 26 people. A fire at Bucharest’s Collectiv nightclub on Saturday night during a rock concert with fireworks reportedly killed 27 people and injured more than 160.
— euronews (@euronews) November 5, 2015
Anger and resignation
National grief over the deaths gave way to anger once it emerged that the Colectiv nightclub had been run under a different name. In the days that followed, Romanians took to the streets to demand an end to endemic corruption at all levels of government, and a demonstration was held in which thousands of people took part.
The tragedy led to a wave of anti-corruption protests in Romania, culminating on November 4, when thousands gathered in the capital Bucharest and other cities in the country to protest.
In December 2019, a court in Bucharest sentenced 13 people to a total of 115 years in prison for their involvement in the fire at Colectiv nightclub in Romania’s capital. In December 2018, the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg, France, issued a landmark ruling imposing a total of 115 years in prison on eleven of them, with a maximum sentence of 30 years.
Thirteen people have been sentenced to jail and hefty fines after being convicted of their part in the 2015 fire at Bucharest’s Colectiv nightclub. Cristian Gheorghe, 65, owner of Colectiv nightclub, was “morally guilty” of Romanian history’s fatal fire. The Romanian court sentenced 13 people accused of murdering 65 people who died in a fire during a concert on October 30 2015, to a total of 115 years and eight months in prison for safety failures.
Romanian Prime Minister Victor Ponta announced his resignation after people’s protests. The October 30 nightclub fires followed years of growing anger against the state and may have been the last straw for Ponta.
Lupu was one of the hundreds trapped inside the Colectiv nightclub in central Bucharest on October 30, 2015, when a pyrotechnical fire rocked the venue. The spark spilt over into the second floor of a former shoe factory in Buch, where he stayed, and there was no exit from the fire. Lupu dragged himself out of the inferno triggered by a pyrite show and spent the next 42 days in a Bucharest hospital, where he underwent two operations.
Romania suspected the fire in Colectiv was the result of an active fault and pointed out that fireworks had been ignited, which could be considered unsuitable for the venue. Romania’s Interior Minister Gabriel Oprea initially said the explosion occurred on the second floor of the COLECTiv club in a former shoe factory in central Bucharest. Still, authorities leading the rescue operation later said there was no fire or explosion.
Romanian Prime Minister Sorin Grindeanu and his Interior Ministry, Alexandre Ceausescu, arrived in Bucharest on Tuesday to investigate the fire’s cause.
A fire has broken out in the Romanian capital Bucharest, killing 27 people. 155 died in hospital and 38 in hospital. The fire is the latest in a series of fires that have broken out in Romania in recent years, killing 27 people. It comes just days after Transparency International warned that corruption undermines efforts to tackle Covid 19 in Eastern Europe. This latest fire has revived the memories of another fire in the Romanian Colectiv nightclub in October 2015, killing 26 people. In an attempt to denounce corruption within the Romanian state, the fire broke out through the nightclub, trapping 27 of them and killing them.
The populist Romanian government has reassured the victims’ families through Bucharest’s facilities: everything is being done for them here. But this has not been enough to expose the horrors of neglect. Some fire victims have died, but it is not enough to tell the appalling neglect of Romania’s health system and the lack of transparency in its administration.
The collective is working on its shocking revelations about the widespread corruption permeating the country’s broken health care system. The decay of the Romanian public health system and what it shows us is an investigation into how trauma can be healed and how important it is for us to participate in it.
The recordings mentioned above of the collective on fire, which Nanau juxtaposes with the press conference sequence, implicitly equate them with the corruption that led to their clubgoers’ death. Corruption never stops, not only in the health sector but in all areas of life in Romanian society.
Vlad Voiculescu, who became the reforming Minister of Health, is trying to eradicate decades of corruption in hospitals. Nanau and his team keep the story alive by embedding reforms – advocates and patients – that he has taken over as the new health minister. In the wake of the two protesters who brought down the government, the patient rights activist Vlad Voiculescu was hired as the new health minister, and the system was purged from the inside.
The collective don’t forget
The recently released Romanian documentary COLLECTIVE, describes the events surrounding the tragic fire at the Colectiv nightclub in Bucharest, which claimed 27 lives in 2015 and understandably devastated Romania. The contours of this tragedy and many others are revealed in the documentary by filmmaker Alexander Nanau, a former member of the Romanian Communist Party and expert on public health.
Nanau originally began documenting the death of newspaper editor Catalin Tolontan, who disappeared in the wake of the scandal following the deadly fire in Bucharest, Romania, in 2015.
Nanau’s trail takes him through Romania’s public health system. The documentary successfully demonstrates the system’s decay, from the Communist Party’s early days to its current state. Romanian government and its incompetent Minister of Health, who stand up to lie to the public.