Romanian Fire Death Toll Could Rise Significantly

BUCHAREST, Romania (AP) -

On Sunday, Romanians mourned the victims of Friday’s horrific party-venue fire, as 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 party-venue in Bucharest’s 4th district — the scene of the tragedy that so far has killed 29 people and left dozens badly burned.

Over 140 people are still hospitalized around the Romanian capital and 90 of them are in serious condition, said Raed Arafat, an emergency situations official. He added that the death toll could double.

Amid the tears, there were bursts of anger and calls for punishing those deemed responsible for what happened. Witnesses said the fire started as a pyrotechnics show during a band’s performance ignited foam, which lead to a stampede to a single exit from the venue.

There has been widespread anger that the venue had only one exit door, and that the band used fireworks. Criticism has also been raised against Romania’s lax fire regulations.