The Bucharest Inspectorate for Emergency Situations (ISU Bucharest) stated that the fire safety certificate for Bamboo club had been issued in 2009, upon the request of the administrators of the Bucharest club.
Bamboo club in northern Bucharest burnt down following fire burst out on Friday morning at 4 a.m, with 38 people being taken to the hospital. 11 victims are still hospitalized. No death was registered.
“Our institution has not been requested to issue a fire safety authorization so far, an administrative paper that is mandated by legal provisions to be obtained until the end of June 2017. Inspectors conducted periodic checks at the club and applied fines for irregularities: On May 25, 2015 — two fines, worth RON 5,500, for improper exploitation of the electrical system and lack of fire safety certificate; November 13-20, 2015, 2 fines worth RON 15,000 for improper exploitation of the electrical system and lack of fire safety certificate; November 2016 — fine worth RON 2,500 for blocking access ways,” ISU Bucharest said in a press release.
According to the law, if a company functions without fire safety certificate it is its own exclusive responsibility of the beneficiary, the commercial operator being the one having the obligation to obtain this document until the end of June 2017.
The spokesperson of ISU Buchares, Daniel Vasile, explained that by the end of June 2017 the lack of fire safety certificate is noted by prevention inspectors conducting checks, but, according to a Government decision, the lack of this authorization is not penalized. The ISU representative added that the deficiencies found out by firemen during checks were not in the category of those which could’ve determined the closure and suspension of activity of the club.
Moreover, the representatives of the District 2 city hall say that the club had no operating permit after a request for the club’s expansion, and last year the club has been fined.
Bucharest District 2 Mayor, Mihai Mugur Toader, also said that, in the second half of last year, Bamboo Club had been fined by the District Mayoralty, yet the institution has the responsibility to issue authorization only for the public food service activity.
“After being, they submitted the documentation to obtain that authorization, but it is incomplete at the moment and they were told to make the necessary additions. They were fined in the second part of last year. From what I understand, they have the documentation for fire safety authorization, they have the scenario in case of fire developed, the plan and all that’s necessary,” the district Mayor pointed out.
The Bucharest City General Mayor, Gabriela Firea, stated on Saturday that in case a club doesn’t have a functioning permit from the District Mayoralty of the district they are in, they should be closed.
15 Israelis, affected by the fire
About 15 Israeli citizens were affected by the fire that destroyed the Bamboo Club on the night between Friday and Saturday the Israeli Embassy in Bucharest informed, adding that most of them had been admitted to hospitals with minor smoke inhalations or hypothermia. Some of those admitted to hospital have already left the hospitals, with the rest of the Israeli citizens being discharged on Saturday.
The victims of the fire were admitted to the Floreasca, Pantelimon, Elias and University Hospitals.
President Iohannis: Unless we understand that law is one for all, society will be at risk
President Klaus Iohannis also reacted to the Bamboo fire. In a message posted on Facebook, the Romanian president says that it seems rules and laws have been broken again, adding that, unless there is an understanding that the law is one for all, society will always be in danger.
“Fortunately nobody has lost his or her life. Yet, we have been that close to another massive tragedy. It seems that rules and laws have been broken again. Unless we understand once and for all that the law is the same for all, society will always be at risk,” the head of state said. He wished quick recovery to the injured and conveyed thanks to the rescue teams.
Investigators contradict club owners: No criminal intention suspected
Investigators claim they have no clues regarding the existence of criminal involvement in the Bamboo Club fire.
“There is no hint regarding criminal involvement, as it has been claimed. The investigation has not started related to the structure, the place where the fire has started and how it has spread. After these things are determined, the best working hypotheses will be assessed, ” said the head of the Homicide Department of the Bucharest Police, Radu Gavris, who was on the scene on Sunday, together with the prosecutor from the Prosecutor’s Office attached to the Bucharest Tribunal, Mihai Pruna.
The investigators’ parentheses come after fashion designer Catalin Botezatu, a former shareholder of the company that operates Bamboo Club, stated that “it’s possible the fire was set by someone”, because the club had “enemies”.
Moreover, the lawyer of the current Bamboo Club owners, Catalin Dancu stated on Sunday that the data they have at this moment confirms that the fire was intentionally placed.
He also informed that over 700 people were in the Bamboo Club at the time of the fire broke out and they were evacuated in secure conditions in less than six minutes.