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Romanian nightclub owners arrested after fire kills 31

The weekend blaze left nearly 200 injured.

A woman cries as relatives and friends wait for victims to be identified following last week's nightclub fire.
A woman cries as relatives and friends wait for victims to be identified following last week's nightclub fire.
Image: Andreea Alexandru/AP/Press Association Images

THEE BOSSES OF a nightclub in Romania, where a weekend blaze left 31 people dead and nearly 200 injured were arrested yesterday on suspicion of manslaughter, Romanian prosecutors said.

The three men, aged between 28 and 36, were questioned for several hours in connection with the Friday night fire in Bucharest.

Witnesses said a fireworks display triggered the blaze at the Colectiv nightclub, sparking a stampede as terrified revellers scrambled to get out.

Most of the victims were killed on the spot. Nearly 200 people were injured.

Questions over safety regulations

Romanian media and witnesses have questioned safety regulations at the club.

Romania Explosion A survivor stands outside the scene of the blast in Bucharest. Source: Vadim Ghirda/AP/Press Association Images

Witnesses spoke of the absence of an emergency exit and the use of flammable material to soundproof the venue.

The club did not have the required authorisation to hold concerts or to stage pyrotechnic displays, government official Raed Arafat has said.

Prosecutors must now look into who should have ensured the club had all the proper permits before it opened.

One of the three suspects taken into custody yesterday is a former barman with shares in several clubs.

Two of the other clubs in which he has a stake were also destroyed by fires in recent years, Romanian daily Evenimentul Zilei reported.

- © AFP, 2015

Read: Fire safety ‘ignored’ at Romanian nightclub where blaze killed 31 and injured almost 200

Read: Islamic State’s claim it downed Russian plane dismissed as “propaganda”

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