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29 killed after fire during Romanian metal show [UPDATED]

Posted by on November 1, 2015


On Friday, October 30th, Romanian metalcore band Goodbye to Gravity kicked off the tour for their sophomore album, Mantras of War, at Bucharest venue Colectiv. 300 to 400 people were packed inside the club, in the basement of a Communist-era factory, when pyrotechnics the band was using in the set ignited soundproofing foam on the ceiling, engulfing concertgoers in fire and sending the crowd stampeding towards the club’s only exit. At least 27 died and 180 were injured, Among the dead were both of the band’s guitarists, Mihai Alexandru and Vlad Tele, with the other three members of the band hospitalized. Doctors said the death toll is expected to rise. [UPDATE: the death toll has risen to 31.]

If this seems eerily similar to the Station nightclub fire, in which 100 died at a Great White concert, that’s because it is. The 2003 tragedy had repercussions in the concert and touring industry nationwide, but apparently not worldwide. Some are citing Romania’s lax fire codes as the reason as the nation mourns, and indoor fireworks are a common occurrence in the country. Apparently, then the fire first started, the singer make a quick joke, stating “this wasn’t part of the program,”Delia Tugui, a teacher there with her husband and child told wrote on Facebook. “The next second, he realized it wasn’t a joke and asked for a fire extinguisher,” she wrote on her Facebook page. “In 30 seconds… the fire spread all over the ceiling. People rushed to the entrance but it was too narrow, and people panicked.” Ironically, one of the songs on the band’s new album is called “The Day we Die.”

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