Journalist dies of injuries from Romania fire, toll now 46

AP News
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Posted: Nov 09, 2015 11:01 AM
Journalist dies of injuries from Romania fire, toll now 46

BUCHAREST, Romania (AP) — A popular television editor and photographer died Monday after succumbing to burns from the nightclub fire in Bucharest, raising the death toll in the tragedy to 46, a television station reported.

ProTV news said Teodora Maftei died Monday at a hospital in Israel from burns sustained in the Oct. 30 fire.

Maftei, 36, was also a blogger and well-known photographer and was covering the heavy metal concert at the Colectiv basement club when the fire erupted after a spark from a pyrotechnics show ignited foam decor.

After the fire, a Bucharest restaurant exhibited 23 photos she took in London in August to raise money for her treatment.

The nightclub fire, the deadliest of its kind in Romania's history, sparked mass protests and caused Prime Minister Victor Ponta and his Cabinet to resign last week.

Raed Arafat, an emergency situations official, said Monday that 10 patients have been safely transported to Britain and Norway for treatment. Thirteen people died over the weekend.

He said 83 people remain hospitalized in facilities around the capital, of which 21 are in a critical or serious condition, with the rest in stable condition.

Forensic tests show that 18 of the 26 people who died immediately after the fire were intoxicated with noxious gases, while people who died over the next couple of days had organ failure, said Abdo Salem, who heads the department of legal medicine in the National Institute for Legal Medicine.

Police will question local police chief Adrian Ionescu later Monday in connection with a probe into how the club was allowed to operate with only a single exit.

Romanians have protested in their thousands for six consecutive evenings, claiming widespread corruption allowed the club to operate without the proper safety permits.

The club's three owners were arrested last week and are being investigated for manslaughter and involuntary bodily harm.