The Latest: 2 Romania nightclub victims awarded for bravery

AP News
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Posted: Nov 02, 2015 4:10 PM
The Latest: 2 Romania nightclub victims awarded for bravery

BUCHAREST, Romania (AP) — The latest in the nightclub fire in the Romanian capital, Bucharest, that killed at least 31 people. All times local.

11:10 p.m.

Two heroes of the Bucharest nightclub fire who were among 31 victims have been awarded one of Romania's top honors.

President Klaus Iohannis decorated blogger and photographer Claudiu Petre, and drummer Adrian Rugina, on Monday with the National Order for Merit for "the courage, altruism and dedication which they showed ... trying to save lives, paying the supreme sacrifice."

Petre, 36, went back into the club twice, saving a woman before succumbing to his injuries.

Rugina, 38, a drummer who wasn't in the Goodbye to Gravity heavy metal band playing Friday night when the fire erupted, struggled to help victims of the stampede who were in a heap on the ground, witnesses said. He died having been overwhelmed by the thick smoke.

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10:40 p.m.

The Polish president has visited the nightclub in the Romanian capital where more than 30 people died and 180 were injured in a fire and stampede.

President Andrzej Duda left a wreath and lit a candle outside the basement club Colectiv late Monday evening to honor the victims who died after fleeing the fire which broke out during a heavy-metal rock concert during a pyrotechnics show. About 130 are still hospitalized, with 90 in serious or critical condition.

Duda starts a one-day official visit to Romania on Tuesday where he will meet top Romanian officials.

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7:15 p.m.

The head of news and the head of programming at Romania's public television station have resigned after it was hours late covering a deadly nightclub fire that claimed more than 30 lives.

The interim head of TVR, Irina Radu, apologized to viewers Monday saying the tragedy at the Colectiv nightclub had been treated "unprofessionally." The channel only began reporting news of the deadly fire that broke out late Friday evening at 7 a.m. Saturday.

Radu said measures had been taken to "bring Romania closer to the public television Romania needs."

Romania's many private television stations aggressively covered the fire as news unfolded through the night.

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6:35 p.m.

Authorities say another person has died of injuries sustained in a Bucharest nightclub fire and stampede, bringing the death toll to 31.

Interior Minister Gabriel Oprea said a man, who has not been identified, died Monday at the state burns hospital.

More than 130 people remain hospitalized, of whom 90 are in critical or serious condition.

Hospital director Cristian Nitescu said the victim had no relatives apart from a brother who lives abroad. No further information was available.

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4 p.m.

Three Romanian nightclubs have apologized to patrons for putting their lives at risk, and one will close permanently while the others will be upgraded, following a deadly blaze at a Bucharest club.

The owner of Expirat, Andrei Sosa, said Monday he is closing the club for good. He said his Bucharest venue has only one exit door. "I apologize and I take responsibility. From 2003 I have put the lives of thousands in danger. Weekend after weekend and sometimes during the week."

Rockstadt, the biggest venue for rock music in the central city of Brasov, said in a statement on its Facebook page it will close for 10 days to replace foam similar to that which caught alight in the Colectiv club, install sprinklers and bring the club up to European standards.

In Iasi, northeastern Romania, La Baza club apologized for not meeting minimum safety requirements. "We consider we have been ignorant and irresponsible. We were lucky. We don't want to put anyone's life in danger," it said on its Facebook page

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3:20 p.m.

Romanian prosecutors say three nightclub owners are suspected of manslaughter and involuntary bodily harm in a fire that killed 30 and injured 180.

The three owners of the Colectiv nightclub were questioned by prosecutors Monday in connection with the fire that engulfed the club Friday night, causing a stampede to a single exit door of the basement club. Victims died from inhaling noxious gases, preliminary forensic tests show.

Some 90 people are still hospitalized in serious or critical condition, many with complex burns. Officials say the death toll is likely to rise.

Witnesses say the blaze erupted after a spark on stage from a heavy-metal pyrotechnics show ignited foam decor.

Many have criticized the single exit door and the flammable soundproof foam used in the club.