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3 held over Romania club fire

BUCHAREST (AFP) – Three bosses of a nightclub in Romania, where a weekend blaze left 31 people dead and nearly 200 injured, have been arrested on suspicion of manslaughter, prosecutors said.

The three men aged between 28 and 36 were questioned for several hours in connection with the fire late on Friday in the club in the capital Bucharest.

Witnesses said a fireworks display triggered the blaze at the Colectiv nightclub in a former shoe factory which sparked a stampede as terrified revelers scrambled to get out. Most of the victims were killed on the spot. Nearly 200 people were injured.

Romanian media and witnesses have questioned safety regulations at the club. Witnesses spoke of the absence of an emergency exit and the use of flammable material to soundproof the venue.

The disco did not have the required authorization to hold concerts or to stage pyrotechnic displays, Secretary of State at the Interior Ministry Raed Arafat has said.