Nov 06, 2015
Romanian Leaders Resign After Nightclub Fire Disaster

A high number of Romanian government officials, including the country’s Prime Minister Victor Ponta, have resigned following the deaths of 32 people in a nightclub fire in Bucharest on Oct. 30.
The fire, which took place at the capital’s Colectiv nightclub, was started after fireworks set fire to flammable acoustic foam and quickly spread across the venue, causing the deaths and injuring 180 others.

Three of the club’s owners have been arrested as a result of the tragedy, among allegations that the club was overcrowded and failed to meet fire safety regulations. A number of deaths and injuries were caused by panic and the rush to the club’s single fire exit.

Yet the consequences have been further reaching in Romania, as a growing number of people accuse government corruption, an ongoing problem in the country, of leading to the fire. In addition to the resignation of Mr Ponta–who was already facing trial due to corruption charges–the Mayor of Bucharest and the country’s Interior Minister Gabriel Oprea also stepped down on Nov. 3. Rallies across Romania, with up to 30,000 taking to the streets of Bucharest, have led to talks of political reform and early elections.

Political ramifications aside, the three men arrested in direct connection have issued apologies, with one stating that he had been “ignorant and irresponsible.” Their trial dates are set to be announced shortly.

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