This Article is From Nov 07, 2015

Number of Deaths in Romania Nightclub Fire Rises to 38

Number of Deaths in Romania Nightclub Fire Rises to 38

Emergency service and police forces gather near a club in Bucharest October 31, 2015, after an explosion. (AFP)

Bucharest: The toll from a horrific nightclub fire that brought down the Romanian government has risen to 38, officials said Saturday.

Six more people have died of their injuries this week after the tragedy at Bucharest's Colectiv club on October 30, when fireworks let off during a rock band's performance triggered a blaze and a stampede as panicked revellers tried to get out.

The fire sparked mass anti-government protests, with many viewing compromised safety standards at the club as emblematic of Romania's wider problem with rampant corruption.

Prime minister Victor Ponta, who had been under pressure for weeks as he goes on trial on corruption charges, quit on Wednesday, saying it was right for top officials to take responsibility for the tragedy.

Two of those who died of their injuries this week -- one of them Romanian, the other Italian -- passed away in the Netherlands, where they had been transported on Friday for treatment, interim prime minister Sorin Campeanu told a press conference.

The four others, badly burned and suffering from respiratory problems, succumbed to their injuries in hospitals in Bucharest, interior minister Raed Arafat said.

Around a hundred people, most of them young, remain hospitalised -- including 48 in a critical condition, according to the government.

Initial investigations suggest numerous breaches of the safety rules at the club, including a lack of emergency exits and the fact that flammable materials were used for sound insulation.

The club's three bosses, detained since Tuesday on manslaughter charges, did not have the authorisation to host concerts, let alone pyrotechnic shows.

Ponta's resignation has not stemmed the huge protests by Romanians demanding a "profound change" in the way the country is governed, with some 15,000 spilling into the streets of Bucharest on Friday for a fourth night running.