Romanian nightclub tragedy all too familiar

Blog Post created by ryansweezey on Nov 17, 2015

Fallout continues in the wake of the deadly nightclub fire in Romania on October 30th. With 54 dead as of November 12 and 66 still hospitalized, including a dozen in critical condition, this tragedy seems all too familiar, bringing back memories of similar events, especially 2003’s Station fire in West Warwick, Rhode Island and the KISS fire in Brazil in 2013.

Yahoo News reports the blaze began with errant fireworks in Bucharest’s Collectiv nightclub during a performance of the band Goodbye to Gravity, sending a crowd of around 400 rushing for the exits of the venue. Apparently, there were a lot of safety protocol violations in the club. Four of the five members of the band have died, according to the Associated Press, and three venue owners were arrested on suspicion of manslaughter.

The tragedy has triggered widespread protest of the Romanian government, leading to the resignation of Prime Minister Victor Ponta.

In addition to the dangerous use of fireworks, The Guardian reports that other factors in this event included lack of emergency exits and use of illegal flammable insulation, making this terrible incident very preventable.

Six of the 10 deadliest nightclub fires in world history have occurred in the last 20 years:

  1. 11/28/1942 – Cocoanut Grove nightclub – Boston, MA – 492 deaths
  2. 12/25/2000 – Disco/dance hall – Luoyang, China – 309 deaths
  3. 1/27/2013 – KISS nightclub – Santa Maria, Brazil – 242 deaths
  4. 4/23/1940 – Rhythm Club dance hall – Natchez, MS – 207 deaths
  5. 12/30/2004 – Cromagnon Republic club – Buenos Aires, Argentina – 194 deaths
  6. 5/28/1977 – Beverly Hills Supper Club – Southgate, KY – 165 deaths
  7. 5/18/1996 – Ozone Disco Club – Quezon City, Philippines – 160 deaths
  8. 12/5/2009 – Lame Horse Nightclub – Perm, Russia – 154 deaths
  9. 11/20/1971 – Club Cinq – St. Laurent du Pont, France – 143 deaths
  10. 2/20/2003 – The Station nightclub – W/ Warwick, RI – 100 deaths

For more information on fire safety tips and history of nightclubs and other assembly occupancies, please visit the NFPA website.