The victims of the Colectiv fire ask for the extension of the criminal investigation, blame ISU, Health Ministry

The lawyer representing 20 aggrieved parties following the Colectiv fire case announced on Wednesday that he had asked the extension of the investigation also against the Inspectorate for Emergency Situations, against the Urbanism Department of the District 4 city hall, against the construction company that erected the building hosting the night club, as well as against the company that fixed the foam covering the venue’s walls.

“We asked prosecutors to extend prosecution against more people, related to more crimes. A construction expertise has been done and it revealed other irregularities for which other people, other clerks and other institutions are to blame. There also a body that is checking, not only a body that is approving (…) No public servant is on his own. There are people who have the duty to check,” said lawyer Antoniu Obancia.

The request for the criminal prosecution extension was filed on April 11.

64 people died on October 30, 2015, while over 100 were injured in the blaze. Several investigations were opened, one against the Colectiv club’s owner and against the company that delivered the fireworks that night and another one against the former District 4 mayor, Cristian Popescu Piedone and several clerks.

A third investigation is under way at the National Anti-corruption Directorate, targeting the employees of the Inspectorate for Emergency Situation, who would have covered the lack of the fire permits.

The parents of the youngsters who died in the deadly fire blame the ISU and Health Ministry’s representatives for the tragedy that claimed 64 lives. They say that the Health ministry knew that there were no conditions to treat such cases of burnt people in Romania.

The founder of Colectiv GTG 3010 Association, Eugen Iancu, who lost his son in hospital due to the injuries in the blast said that if the authorities back then had taken the decision to transport the burnt patients in other hospitals abroad, these patients would ahve had a chance to survive.

“There are doctor who said from the first moment that “if keeping the burnt patients in Romanian hospitals, they will die”. Yet somebody oppose that. There is also the bacteria debate. The Health minister admitted there had been victims who had died due to bacteria. We remember that a week after the Colectiv fire, ISU has given hundreds of millions of fines all over the country. In my view, the Inspectorate has thus admitted that it had allowed the venues function without any authorizations. It’s a clear confession that ISU has taken bribe countrywide,” Eugen Iancu argued.

“In our view, ISU and the Health Ministry are the main to blame for the intervention and the treatment in hospitals (…) When you find out that in four-five hospitals in Bucharest there are no conditions to efficiently treat 150 burnt people, who are not just sick, are special cases…. I wonder how they haven’t decided in the first place to transfer these cases in specializes units. 10 people had to die so that they should get scared and send those who cannot be sent abroad,” said another parent who lost his son, Laurenţiu Istrate.

Health Minister Vlad Voiculescu, although he was in office when the fire occurred in October 30, 2015, replied to the intention of the victims’ parents to sue the ISU and the Ministry that no city in Europe wouldn’t have been prepared for over one hundred seriously burnt patients.

“I don’t think that we have ever been prepared, not only last year and I don’t think we must point at Romania that it hasn’t been prepared. No other country or city in Europe wouldn’t have been prepapred for such a high number of seriously burnt patients, for over one hundred. For instance, in Vienna, at AHK hospital, the largest hospital in Europe, there are six beds for burnt,” Voiculescu argued.

colectivcriminal investigationextensionfire permitshe Urbanism Department of the District 4 city hallInspectorate for Emergency Situationsprosecutionvictims
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