Bucharest In Your Pocket

Candles at the scene of the Bucharest club fire

On the night of October 30th, 27 people were killed after a fire broke out at a Bucharest club, Colectiv. A further 33 have since died in hospital, and the death toll is expected to continue to rise. The city - indeed Romania as a whole - has yet to fully come to terms with all that has happened, and although the official mourning period has now passed, Bucharest remains shrouded in a reflective gloom as an angry population waits for answers.

That the fire was caused by sparks from fireworks setting light to highly flammable substances that had been used to soundproof the club is not in doubt. What does remain to be seen is why there were hundreds of people in a venue licensed for less than a hundred. What's more, there was no fire exit, and nobody is certain if the club was even operating legally. Its three owners have been arrested and face a number of charges, including manslaughter.

A number of Bucharest's other venues have been closed since the fire. There is much doubt regarding how many will ever reopen. The owner of one venue, Expirat, has already said his club will not be reopening. He said bluntly that he had been placing the lives of everyone who had ever visited in danger: the club was underground and had no fire exit.

It is not the only such club in Bucharest.

The fire has had political repercussions too: Prime Minister Victor Ponta was forced to resign on November 4th following a massive anti-corruption demonstration in Bucharest. Dacian Ciolos, a non-politically aligned former EU commissioner was named as his replacement.

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Bucharest In Your Pocket has been publishing the complete insider's guide to this unique city for sixteen years. Amid libel battles and law suits, we continue to bring you the best (and sometimes the worst) of this unique city. If you know of a place we have not featured, or think we have been unfair in our assessment, please contact us at bucharest (at) inyourpocket.com.

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And if you're planning on tripping elsewhere in the country, check out our guides to Sibiu, Brasov or Poiana Brasov.

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