Goodbye to Gravity’s Two Guitarists Reportedly Dead in Romanian Concert Tragedy
New details are emerging about the fire that killed 27 people and injured another 180 at the Colectiv club in Bucharest, Romania last night (Oct. 30) during a concert by metal band Goodbye to Gravity. Guitarists Vlad Telea and Mihai Alexandru are reportedly among the dead.
Gandul quotes Vlad Busca, a representative from their label, as confirming Telea's death, while an unnamed source says that Alexandru and his girlfriend, Catalina Ionita, also died in the tragedy. The story says that the other three members of the band -- Andrei Galut (vocals), Alex Pascu (bass) and Bogdan Lavinius (drums) -- are all still in hospitals. Galut is listed in serious condition and is on a ventilator, while Pascu underwent surgery.
An emergency situations official fears that the number of dead may rise.
"Unfortunately, the death toll may change taking into account the severity of their injuries," Deputy Interior Minister Raed Arafat said early this morning. He also noted that 17 of the deceased had yet to be identified and that 146 people still remain in Bucharest hospitals.
The fire is believed to have started when sparks created by the pyrotechnics struck polystyrene that was placed around a pillar. As many as 400 people were estimated to have been in the club, which was housed in the basement of a Communist-era factory in the Romanian capital. There was only one exit, which led to a stampede as people tried to escape. Many were treated for burns, smoke inhalation or other injuries related to being trampled.
Al Jazeera America says that one concertgoer, a Spanish teacher named Delia Tugui, described the incident on her Facebook page. "The lead singer made a quick joke: 'This wasn't part of the program.' The next second, he realized it wasn't a joke and asked for a fire extinguisher. In 30 seconds...the fire spread all over the ceiling. People rushed to the entrance but it was too narrow, and people panicked. Behind me people stampeded, climbing over each other, to try and get out."
The free concert was supposed to be a celebration in honor of Goodbye to Gravity's new album, Mantras of War. An official investigation into the tragedy has already begun. The Romanian government has declared a three-day period of mourning.
This Day in Rock History: October 31