BUCHAREST, Romania (AP) – Romanians wept, cursed and prayed Sunday as they mourned the victims of a fire in a nightclub, while doctors warned the death toll could rise “significantly” because so many of the injured have severe burns.
As the nation entered its second day of mourning, thousands paid their respects at the Colectiv nightclub in Bucharest’s 4th district – the scene of Friday’s tragedy that so far has killed 30 people and left dozens badly burned.
In a separate show of grief, thousands walked silently through the capital city of 3 million Sunday afternoon, carrying flowers and photographs of the dead.
About 140 people are still hospitalized around the Romanian capital. Of those, 90 are in serious condition, said Raed Arafat, an emergency situations official. He added that the death toll could double. Treating victims of a nightclub fire is more complicated than treating someone for a localized burn, Arafat said.
“Many sustained burns to their trachea and lungs, aggravated by the kind of noxious gasses you find in foam and furniture which give off toxic substances such as cyanide. Also many people were trampled on,” he said. “From this point of view, the prognostic and chances (of survival) are reduced.”
Ioan Lascar, a doctor at the Floreasca Emergency Hospital agreed the death toll could rise “significantly” because so many of the injured have severe burns.
“Treatment for burns is the most complex and costly treatment imaginable,” he said. “We are talking about long-term hospitalization: a month, a month and a half, two, sometimes even more.”