Colectiv nightclub fire survivor shares his thoughts on 3 year anniversary

by: Eszter Tarnai

A survivor of the Romanian nightclub fire that killed 64 people today revealed how he believes the fire was part of an attempted Government coup.

Architecture student Alex Plingu said: “It is very hard to imagine killing your own people for the power. It’s a topic that no-one, not even the reporters here will ask.

”What happened is that the fire started where I was, the column where I was. They said it was the fireworks that they put in. And the fireworks were headed to the column and that is what caused the fire. The problem is it looked like it was put on fire.

“The wall, looked like they put something on the wall, because it took like 10 seconds to catch completely on fire. It’s abnormal. It doesn’t matter how flammable was the material, 10 seconds is very little I think. There are a lot of people that say it was a political game to change the Government or something like that.”

He explained that this is a common theory in Romania, and many people believe the Government didn’t take it seriously. It was reported that there were only two fire exits and only one of them were working and still no steps have been taken to change that. “Everyone is asking what have changed? Nothing. Absolutely nothing.”

As a result of the tragedy, Victor Ponta, Romanian Prime Minister resigned and the Government fell after over 25,000 participants in Bucharest alone protested against them. The protesters criticised the government for allowing Colectiv to pass security tests shortly before the concert. Many people however, including Alex are still asking for more changes from the current Government.He says: “It’s like: let me apologise, but I will do nothing.”

Alex believes people’s attitudes should also change in Romania. “We are dysfunctional, we are not ethical. We don’t have compassion, people are very very mean.” He reminds everyone that it is not only when a tragedy like this happens, that we should look out for each other.

The fire was reported as one of the deadliest accidents in Romanian history, and shook the whole world. Some of the injured were taken to hospitals in Norway and the UK, where they were treated. This well-needed international aid helped save many lives.

Across Romania today, people are remembering in Bucharest by lighting candles.”The candles do not change anything. As a citizen, we have some duties to do. I would change the way of thinking”- said Alex.

All across social media, people are commemorating those who passed away 3 years ago. Many organisations and individuals however, are taking this opportunity to raise awareness and remind authorities that changes are still needed in addition to the ones already made.

After the accident, the regulations for opening and maintaining a nightclub have became stricter, said Florin Oslobanu, booker and co-owner of Club Control. In an interview with, he said “After the fire we needed 23 different approvals from different institutions to get a new license under the new regulations.”

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Radio International Romania published an article today commemorating the victims and reminding everyone that more steps should be taken to improve the Romanian Healthcare system. ”According to health minister Sorina Pintea, Romania can offer proper treatment for only 11 severely burnt patients and is likely to resort to foreign support in case of a similar tragedy.”

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A few of the survivors talked about that tragic night 2 years ago in an interview with for the one year anniversary of the accident. They talked about injuries, memories and how it changed their lives. Alex Teodorescu said: “Whenever I see photos from Colectiv, I feel sick. When you see someone who’s burnt, it’s tough to know you were in there, next to them, but that you came out unscathed. We pushed and shoved each other to get out – it’s a burden to know that some people got burnt because of you.”

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More people took Twitter today to remember those who have passed by using the hashtag #Colectiv.

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The tragic events of October 30, 2015:

Romanian nightclub Club Colectiv set on fire in the middle of a free concert performed by metal-core band Goodbye to Gravity.

The fire was said to have started by the fireworks used on stage by the band, and spread rapidly because of the acoustic foam used at the venue.

As the fire consumed the building, the 400 members of the audience desperately tried to get out alive however, it was reported that there was only one exit working. 155 people were treated in hospitals. Most of the casualties were poisoned by the gas emerging from the burning foam.

Read more about the event:

Featured image: Twitter  Copyright 2018

Interview with Alex Plingu:


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