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Bucharest, Oct 31 /Agerpres/ - An explosion and fire engulfed the Colectiv nightclub on Friday night, wounding numerous people and killing dozens.

While first reports announced 18 dead, the death toll rose through the night, latest figures showing 27 have died, 184 were transported to hospital for treatment while 146 remain admitted for further treatment.

First reports from witnesses mention that the fire started following a pyrotechnic display during a scheduled concert in the nightclub that set fire to flammable material in the club.

Reactions to the tragedy poured in following the unprecedented tragedy, with Klaus Iohannis expressing his profound sadness over the tragedy and later meeting with Interior Minister Gabriel Oprea and State Secretary Raed Arafat at the Cotroceni Palace to discuss the situation.

Hundreds of people crowded the Bucharest Blood Transfusion Center and the other blood donation centers to donate blood since the early hours of the morning, heeding thus the calls launched by Health Minister Nicolae Banicioiu and others. Among them 40 local policemen from Sector 4, Bucharest, as well as 50 anti-terrorist operatives from the Romanian Intelligence Service. Chairman of the Social Democrat Party (PSD) Liviu Dragnea has also announced that the party he is leading has already started drawing up lists with potential blood donors.

Patriarch Daniel, head of the Romanian Orthodox Church, also joined in calls for blood donation and prayer, requesting of believers to help the grieving families and the families of those in hospitals both in spirit and material.

King Michael I also expressed his grief and compassion for those affected by the fire in the Bucharest nightclub.

At this moment, while over 140 people remain admitted to hospitals, dozens in grave condition, specialists from the National Research-Development Institute for Mining Security and Antiexplosive Protection have arrived to Bucharest to investigate the causes of the fire. The Bucharest General Prosecutor's office has already announced that an investigation has started. Sources in the judiciary say that prosecutors are investigating the crimes of manslaughter and willful destruction.

The government will also meet in an emergency meeting at 12.30 to declare a three-day mourning period throughout the country.

Updates to follow, Photo-video material available on website. AGERPRES


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