Thousands of safety violations found after Romania nightclub fire

Many public places lacked firefighting equipment, fire permits or did not hold fire drill

The Associated Press

BUCHAREST, Romania — Romanian firefighting authorities have uncovered thousands of fire safety violations in a range of buildings following a nightclub blaze last month in which at least 57 people died.

In a statement Thursday, the Inspectorate for Emergency Situations said it had checked 1,000 bars, nightclubs, discotheques, cinemas and malls from Nov. 9 to Nov. 16.

Many public places lacked firefighting equipment, fire permits or did not hold fire drills, the Inspectorate said. It also saw widespread violations of bans on using open flames, pyrotechnics and smoking in public places.

The inspectorate said it found 3,200 violations, of which 430 were fixed during checks. It said 37 "grave violations" had led to the closure or temporary shutdown of public places and it has handed out fines of 8.6 million lei ($2.07 million).

The fire erupted during a heavy-metal rock concert at the Colectiv nightclub on Oct. 30, when a spark ignited foam decor, sending panicked people stampeding to a single-door exit.

The death toll rose to 57 on Thursday when a 30-year-old woman died of her burns at the St. Ioan hospital, said Adrian Stanculea, spokesman for the state burns hospital where the woman had initially been hospitalized.

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