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Unacceptable: Second fire at unlicensed nightclub in Bucharest

Unacceptable: Second fire at unlicensed nightclub in Bucharest

A year and a half ago, after the fire at ‘Colectiv Club’ in Bucharest last Halloween night, in 2015, during a rock concert 64 people were killed, the International Nightlife Association offered its help to the Rumanian authorities in order to implement in their country the International Nightlife Safety seal to avoid new cases like Colective. 

Unfortunately, the International Nightlife Association didn’t get any answer from the Rumanian goverment. Some days later, the owners of Colective nightclub were caught by the Police and sent to jail and the International Nightlife Association applauded this because the nightclub didn’t meet the necessary safety measures.

Fifteen months after that tragedy, it looks like nothing has changed in the city since last Saturday a new fire at a Bucharest’s nightclub (Bamboo Club) took place and 38 people were taken to Hospital. It could have been a new tragedy with dozen of killed since the club was completely destroyed by violent fire. Fortunately, nobody was killed and most of them were released and less than ten remained hospitalised. One person suffered severe injuries and is still in intensive care, as Romania Insider informed.

 As it seems, the club didn’t have an operating license and was fined in 2016 for this, which we consider totally unacceptable.

 After the fire, president of Rumania, Klaus Iohannis stated: “Fortunately, nobody lost their lives in the Bucharest club fire. However, we have been very close to another big tragedy. Rules and laws have apparently been broken again, Until we don’t understand once and for all that all must respect the law, society will always be in danger”.

 Bucharest 2nd District Mayor, Mihai Mugur Toader, stated on Saturday, in the second half of last year, Bamboo Club was fined by the City Council, yet the institution has the responsibility to issue authorization only for the public food service activity. “At this time, after they were fined, they submitted the documentation to obtain that authorization, but it is incomplete at the moment and they were told to make the necessary additions. They were fined in the second part of last year. From what I understand, they have the documentation for fire safety authorization, they have the scenario in case of fire developed, the plan and all that’s necessary,” the Mayor mentioned for AGERPRES.

 As Romania Insider also informed, 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 International Nightlife Association considers unacceptable what has happened since this incident has 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 in the tragedy. In that case, like in this one, the investigators found that the club didn’t have all the necessary functioning permits.

 Bamboo 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 as Romania Insider informed.

 After the Colectiv club fire, the authorities seemed to have tightened the rules for the functioning of local clubs. Theoretically, 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. Nevertheless, it seems that fifteen months after the Colectiv tragedy, little has changed since then and that the changes in the goverment have had no effect.

 Joaquim Boadas, General Secretary of the International Nightlife Association has reacted to the news stating: “Another big tragedy could have happened. In our opinion, it’s an enormous irresponsibility that a new fire has happened in an unlicensed club only 15 months after a big tragedy occurred which left 64 killed. Government should have taken more controlling measures. From the International Nightlife Association we are working on an International Nightlife Safety Seal to implement in nightclubs and we offered president Klaus Iohannis government to implement it in Bucharest but nobody gave us a response”.  As a matter of fact, one of the requirements to achieve the seal is it’s totally forbidden the use of any kind of fireworks indoors or inside nightclubs.

 At the same time that we are developing this safety seal, the International Nightlife Association is also currently working on an on-line International Nightlife Guide in order to distinguish on-licensed premises from those unlicensed in order to provide tourists and party-goers about safety information before they decide where to go to dinner or to have a drink, especially designed to avoid tragedies like the ones happened in Bucharest and also in Oakland some months ago. So, we need all governments to cooperate informing us if venues are licensed or not. How else can a party-goer or his family know this in advance? For example, Bamboo boasted being “the best club in Bucharest” (www.bamboo.ro), which is unacceptable if it’s true it wasn’t fully licensed and authorities didn’t notice this. We have to take in to account that 4.000 people have perished in nightclubs in the last 75 years, the 50% of them in the last 16 years, and all of them avoidable. This is the reason why the International Nightlife Association, together with the United Nations World Tourism Organization, is offering this cooperation to all governments who are members of the main and unique worldwide tourism organization. This benefits everyone around the world, because without safety, there will be neither tourism nor nightlife.

 The International Nightlife Association would like to see the end of this investigation while wishing a prompt recovery to those injured.

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