27 dead, dozens injured in Bucharest club explosion
Officials have confirmed the deaths of at least 27 people, while a further 180 suffered injuries and had to be rushed to nearby hospitals from Colectiv Club.
The death toll has risen to 27 with many of the injured in critical condition, said Deputy Prime Minister Gabriel Oprea, according to Realitatea TV. In total nearly 180 people were admitted to the city’s hospitals, according to healthcare undersecretary Raed Arafat.
More than 60 ambulances and fire trucks have been deployed to the scene, according to the interior ministry. Emergency services have set up a mobile hospital in order to immediately treat the most severely injured people. However, it has been reported that the first responders had insufficient supplies to help all of those who needed the most urgent medical attention.
The cause of the explosion has not yet been officially confirmed, but according to reports the performance was supposed to have been accompanied by a pyrotechnics show that apparently went terribly wrong.
The fireworks reportedly set the stage installations on fire, causing thick smoke and forcing the audience flee to the exit, causing a stampede, according to a witness cited by someseanul.ro.
"There was a stampede of people running out of the club," a witness told Reuters.
Dozens of people suffered severe burns, according to first responders on the ground. Some reports have stated that part of the club’s roof collapsed, further injuring people inside.
The incident happened at around 10:20pm local time, and dozens of ambulances arrived at the scene some 15 minutes later. Some of those who had been injured were treated at the scene, while those with severe injuries were rushed to hospitals.
Authorities have urged citizens to donate blood as the situation has been deemed critical, with emergency wards fully packed and extra medical personnel being called in.
By midnight firefighters confirmed the full evacuation of the building and handed the investigation over to police.
The National Committee for Emergency Situations has announced an emergency meeting for Saturday morning. All ministers have been summoned, according to local media.
Some 400 people had been inside the nightclub at the time of the incident, according to Arafat. According to earlier reports, there had also been some minors at the club when the blast happened.
The concert was being held to mark the launch of a local rock band’s new album.
“I am shocked and deeply saddened by the tragic event that occurred tonight,” Romanian President Klaus Iohannis said on Facebook, expressing his compassion and solidarity with the families of the victims.
The Romanian President Klaus Johannis has expressed his condolences to the families of those killed in the tragedy, saying he was “shocked” and “deeply saddened”.
"I am shocked and deeply saddened by the tragic event that occurred tonight in downtown,” the president posted on Facebook. “It is a very sad for all of us, for our nation and for me personally. In this painful time, I express my full compassion and solidarity with the families of those affected by this tragedy.”
Johannis has pledged “support” for the families of those killed and injured, calling on them to trust the responsible institutions.