The weekend in Bucharest life was of course dominated by just one, tragic event: the fire in a club, Colectiv, in which 27 people died. Two people have since died in hospital, and more than 30 of those injured remain in a critical condition.
We know the building in which Colectiv is located (the old Pionierul factory) well: we live just around the corner and Daughter of Bucharest Life has dance lessons there twice a week. She was in fact there early on Friday afternoon.
Too much has already been written about the fire, and who was (or was not) to blame, so we will make just three short points.
Firstly, despite early, ill-informed reports to the contrary, Bucharest’s emergency services coped very well. The reaction of civil society – there were queues to donate blood – has been equally impressive.
Secondly, we will not win many friends for stating the simple fact that this was an accident waiting to happen. Hundreds of Bucharest’s pubs and clubs do not have adequate fire escapes (some, like Colectiv, have none at all), and in a city where four of the seven mayors are either in prison, under house arrest or otherwise charged with corruption, nobody seems to care too much. Perhaps we should add a ‘Fire escape’ symbol to our listings in Bucharest In Your Pocket, so people know if they are dicing with death when they enter a club.
Thirdly, those fake Christians – such as scumbag Steaua Bucharest owner and convicted criminal Gigi Becali – who implied that those who died brought it on themselves for being ‘demonic’ or listening to the music of a band whose lyrics contain ‘satanic verses’ (we have no idea if they do or not) are beyond help. They are the lowest of the low. They are not Christians. It’s like saying that anyone who ever went to an AC/DC concert deserves to be shot. We would add that the official position of Preafericitul Daniel, Patriarch of the Romanian Orthodox Church, is actually a rather impressive one calling for calm, solidarity and for donations of blood.