Romanian nightclub fire leaves 27 dead, scores injured

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BUCHAREST, Romania — Hundreds of young people were packed into a music club in central Bucharest, Romania, jamming to the head-pounding heavy metal music filling their ears.

It was almost Halloween. The band, Goodbye to Gravity, was celebrating a new album with a free concert. For the young partygoers life was awesome.

But suddenly the 300 or 400 people were scrambling toward the one exit at Colectiv, a club built inside a Communist-era factory.

Witnesses say pyrotechnics sparked a fire that quickly became a widespread blaze with dark, blinding smoke. Authorities say the cause is something that needs to be figured out.

At least 27 people died and 162 were injured when the blaze broke out late Friday, authorities said.

A spokeswoman for the Interior Ministry, Monica Dajbog said many of the injured — who were taken to 12 hospitals — were in critical condition.

A prosecutor and fire specialists will investigate the scene and determine how the fire started, she said.

Goodbye to Gravity was having an album release concert, the group said on its social media pages.

Paul Angelescu, a reporter with ProTV, said the mayor told him the club had all the necessary permits for Friday’s show, which was scheduled to begin at 9 p.m.

Romanian President Klaus Iohannis said he was “shocked and deeply saddened” by the news.

“It is a very sad moment for all of us, for our nation and for me personally,” he said in a post to his Facebook page.

The fire appears to be the deadliest nightclub blaze since a 2013 fire at a nightclub in Santa Maria, Brazil, killed 235 people.

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