At Least 27 Dead in Romanian Club Pyrotechnics Fire During Heavy Metal Concert at Colectiv in Bucharest


An pyrotechnics display and ensuing flames on a stage at Colectiv, a Bucharest nightclub, on Friday left at least 27 people dead and 180 hospitalized with injuries, Romania’s interior minister said. Medics arrived on the scene to attempt resuscitation of several people with CPR. (Oct. 30)

At least 27 people were killed at Colectiv, a nightclub built in the basement of a communist-era factory, when a fire believed to have been ignited by pyrotechnics late Friday filled the dance club with smoke. At least 160 people were injured in the fire.

Some media have reported an explosion occurred, but witnesses describe a pyrotechnic display that ignited material inside the club while the band “Goodbye to Gravity” was promoting a new album with a free concert.

Pândaru Alin, who was in the Colectiv nightclub Friday night, said that a fire started during the concert because of fireworks. He added that the fire spread quickly because of the small space. [Audio of interview is in Romanian.]

At least one witness at the fire scene believes many more than 27 people died at the fire. The witness also described that many people were intubated with burns to the respiratory tract, and with burns to more than 50 percent of their bodies.

Early reports described that two of the band members have been killed. The lead singer is reported to have been transported to the hospital with extensive burns.

Pictures on social media show a flame igniting polystyrene foam insulation covering a pillar near the stage. The lead singer of Goodbye to Gravity joked that sparks weren’t part of the heavy metal band’s performance. The venue had only one exit, which caused panic and people to pile up near the exit. The initial stage fire description is eerily similar to the fire that ignited on stage at a “Great White” concert at The Station nightclub fire that killed 100 people in West Warwick, Rhode Island in 2003.

The fire is similar to previous fires with a high number of deaths and injuries caused by illegal indoor use of outdoor fireworks, including the 2003 fire at The Station nightclub fire in West Warwick, Rhode Island; the 2004 República Cromañón nightclub fire in Buenos Aires, Argentina (194 deaths); the 2008 Wuwang Club fire in Shenzhen, China (43 deaths); the 2009 Santika Club fire in Watthana, Bangkok, Thailand (66 deaths with cause disputed); the 2009 Lame Horse fire in Perm, Russia (150 deaths); and the 2013 Kiss nightclub fire in Santa Maria, Brazil (242 deaths).

Several other nightclubs exist in the neighborhood of Strada Tăbăcarilor (Tanners Street) in București, Romania.

A witness said the group, which was launching its new album “Mantras of War” Friday, had performed a song titled “This is the Day We Die” from their latest CD before the fire broke out.

Witness said children and parents of children were pleading for their lives to be saved to rescuers.


Music video by Goodbye to Gravity performing Atonement. (C) 2015 Universal Music Romania.

Music video by Goodbye to Gravity performing Shadow Puppets. (C) 2015 Universal Music Romania.

Music video by Goodbye to Gravity performing The Day We Die. (C) 2015 Universal Music Romania. This song was reported to have been a song that was performed just before a fatal fire consumed the interior of the Colectiv nightclub in Bucharest, Romania.

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