Romania’s President reacts after Bamboo Club fire: Laws and rules have again been broken
Romania’s President Klaus Iohannis reacted after the famous Bamboo Club in Bucharest burned completely on Saturday morning, saying that people will continue to be in danger until all will understand that they must respect the law. The famous club, which is one of Bucharest’s biggest and an attraction for both locals and foreigners who visit the city, apparently didn’t have an operating license.
Some 38 people were taken to the hospitals in Bucharest after the fire in Bamboo Club. However, most of them were released and less than ten remained hospitalized. One person suffered severe injuries and is still intubated.
“Fortunately, nobody lost his live in the Bucharest club fire. However, we have been very close to another big tragedy. Rules and laws have apparently been broken again,” Klaus Iohannis wrote on Facebook. “Until we don’t understand once and for all that all must respect the law, society will always be in danger,” the President concluded.
He thanked the rescuers and wished an easy recovery to the people who were injured in the fire.
According to the Bucharest District 2 City Hall, the club didn’t have an operating license and had been fined in 2016 for this. “The club had a building permit for an expansion, which had been issued in 2012, but the reception of the work hasn’t been finalized. The club didn’t have an operating license and was fined last year. This year, they were going to be fined again for operating without license,” a spokesman of the District 2 City hall told local Mediafax.
The club’s manager was called to a police station for hearings on Saturday morning, but he felt sick and was taken to the hospital, according to Mediafax. The Bucharest Prosecutors’ Office started a criminal file after the fire in Bamboo Club.
This incident occurred little over a year after the Colectiv club in Bucharest burned down on Halloween night, in 2015, during a rock concert. 64 people lost their lives after the tragedy. The investigators found that the club didn’t have all the necessary functioning permits. The club had a valid operating license issued by Bucharest District 4 City Hall, but the local authorities apparently hadn’t checked if the club met all the legal conditions. The club didn’t have a permit from the Emergency Situations Department.
The prosecutors found that the club didn’t respect many of the fire safety measures as it didn’t have enough emergency exits and fire extinguishers. Moreover, the club’s owners were held responsible for taking in a lot more people than the club’s declared capacity.
The club went on fire because of the fireworks set on stage during the rock concert held by local band Goodbye to Gravity. The soundproofing insulation was not fire proof and burned very quickly emanating hot toxic gases that burned the lungs of the people inside. The people in the club couldn’t get out in time because there were not enough exits.
After the Colectiv club fire, the authorities tightened the rules for the functioning of local clubs. No club was allowed to operate without a valid permit from the Emergency Situations Unit (ISU), and the ISU inspectors were more thorough in controlling the clubs.
The Colectiv club tragedy also sparked big protests in Bucharest and other big cities. Thousands of people went to the streets and shouted against the corrupt politicians and elected officials, who they deemed responsible for the tragedy. “Corruption kills,” was the motto that emerged and that was repeated by President Klaus Iohannis himself.
District 4 mayor Cristian Popescu Piedone resigned and was charged with abuse of power.
The Victor Ponta Government resigned and the President appointed Dacian Ciolos as Prime Minister.
Fifteen months after the Colectiv tragedy, it seems that little has changed since then. In two rounds of elections held in Romania in 2016, corrupt mayors, county council presidents, and MPs were reelected. The Social Democratic Party (PSD) returned to power in December 2016 and the new Government and parliament are now trying to change the criminal law and cripple the anticorruption rules in Romania.
(Photo source: Bamboo Club Bucuresti on Facebook)