The Colectiv tragedy in Romania: The deadly club fire only burned for 2.5 minutes


The deadly fire that killed 64 people of the 400 who were in Bucharest’s Colectiv club on October 30 last year only burned for about 2.5 minutes, according to the experts’ report. The fire took only seconds to spread to the whole club, giving the people inside very little time to react and get out.

The club’s setup and especially the fact that there were no emergency exits made it difficult for the people to get out in time and save themselves. As a result, 26 people lost their lives that night and 38 others died in the following months at the hospital, making this the biggest tragedy in Romania in the last 20 years.


Specialists from the Institute of Mining Security and Explosion Protection in Petrosani have recently completed the report on the Colectiv club tragedy in Bucharest. The document remakes the incident by the second, according to Digi 24.

The fireworks used during the rock concert held by local band Goodbye to Gravity burned for 15 seconds, after which a spark reached a pillar that was covered in soundproofing foam, which caught fire. The band’s singer asked for a fire extinguisher, but the fire spread incredibly fast. It took just a few seconds for the fire to go up to the ceiling and then spread to the whole ceiling, fueled by the flammable materials and the air conditioning.

After about 35 seconds, hot drops of melted foam started to fall on the people that were still in the club, burning their skin. Only 51 seconds, flammable toxic gas starts coming down from the ceiling.

Only after a minute the club’s second door, which was blocked, is forced open. Too late, given that 72 seconds after the fire started the whole club was full of black and yellow smoke resulted from the polyurethane foam that burned. Thus, even some of those who had no external burns later succumbed because their airways were burned by the hot toxic smoke.

The fire burned for 153 seconds after which is started to extinguish naturally, according to the report. The experts’ reconstitution is a key piece of evidence in the criminal case against Colectiv club’s owners and the firm that installed the fireworks in the club.

Colectiv tragedy death toll reaches 64 after 21-year student dies in Bucharest hospital. 

Looking back at 2015: Colectiv, the Romanian tragedy that has changed laws and people. 

Irina Popescu, [email protected]