As the commemoration of 4 years since the deadly fire of Colectiv club that claimed 64 lives and left hundreds injured is getting closer, mass media revealed new shocking images and recordings from the firefighters’ intervention on that fateful night of October 30, 2015.
The first video and audio recordings (lasting 20 minutes and 40 seconds) taken by an officer of the Inspectorate of Emergency Situations and kept secret until now, have been released by Libertatea newspaper.
The footage showed the chaos of the intervention on scene right after the fire, with some firemen failing to provide basic assistance to the injured and swearing at them.
According to the above-mentioned source, the footage has been disclosed to them by a firefighter who wished to remain anonymous, after being hidden from the officials and prosecutors investigating the case. Libertatea newspaper claims the footage was known to the rescuers’ authority.
The fireman who disclosed the footage says that the images had been taken by one of his colleagues and that they had been seen by a small group of chief officers and that had not been given to the Ciolos Government’s Control Body, or to the prosecutors.
“The fire in the nightclub was already extinguished, there were some smoke, and the firemen were supposed to take care of the people injured outside. They didn’t even take their pulse, did not bent down to look at the injured“, the officer stated.
One can hear in the footage colonel Orlando Schiopu, the deputy chief of the Inspectorate for Emergency Situations, having a nervous breakdown and saying “Leave them the fuck alone”.
In retort, the Genera Inspectorate for Emergency Situations has convened a press conference today, saying they did not hide the images and audio recordings from the Colectiv intervention four years ago, claiming that such footage is provided only upon the request of the bodies qualified to probe into the case, as colonel Cristian Radu first deputy chief of ISU said. “We usually don’t release such images to get views, for they have a major emotional impact on the population”, the ISU chief said, adding that the Ciolos government had never asked for this footage.
In his turn, the secretary of state for emergency situations, Raed Arafat said he was not aware that such footage exists and promised to make further comments on it after the commemoration of the tragedy (due on October 30) and after the presidential election.
As for the ISU head Orlando Schiopu filmed while swearing, he denied he was referring to the injured patients lying down on the pavement.
General Prosecutor’s Office has also retorted, saying they did not know about this footage and so, it was in the Colectiv file. Prosecutors have now officially requested ISU to provide it.
The Colectiv fire prompted huge mass anti-corruption protests in Romania which eventually made the Ponta Cabinet resign. A technocrat PM, Dacian Ciolos was named by President Iohannis back then, with a technocrat Government being in power until the general elections of December 2016.