I am not quite sure how many of you heard about Colectiv. A club in Bucharest, Romania that burned on the 30th of October 2015. A fire that took 65 lives…and destroyed hundreds more. A fire that still burns inside the friends, family, and everyone who ever met those victims.
I am reliving every second of that cursed night and everything that happened afterward. From those 65, 4 were from my city and my friends. One was my childhood friend. But more about the victims, later on.
It all started with the concert of Goodbye to Gravity band. As much as I wasn’t a fan of their genre, I loved their songs and how they were as humans. At some point, from a firework, a wall started to burn. The beginning of hell. The emergency door was LOCKED. Not closed, but locked from outside. 27 died at the scene, trying to save their lives. Some of them managed to run outside but died in the hospital from the bacterias found there. In case you didn’t know, Romanian hospitals are the worst you can imagine. The hospitals were out of order when they had to manage this situation. We were sending the burnts abroad to cure, as we had nothing to help them with. Some of the victims either died on the road to the airport or in the airplanes. The authorities thought it was a joke when they were called about the fire… evidence provided years later shown how cops were cursing the victims and made fun of their burns. THERE WERE SOMEONE’S KIDS, HUSBANDS, WIFES, SISTERS, BROTHERS!!!! You can’t make fun of someone who’s skin is falling in the front of you; who is begging you to save them.
The leader of the band lost all his colleagues, his fiancee, and other friends who were in the public. Imagine for a second the pain that Andrei had to deal with and the trauma that is still haunting him. My childhood friend, Ionut, was 27. He was the definition of a gentleman. An amazing, loving soul. Words can’t describe enough what a fantastic human he was. He got married a month before the fire. That night, he threw himself over his wife to save her. Eventually, they both managed to get outside and thought they were saved. Little did he know that even though outside, he was ok, his insides were infected with the smoke inhaled. He died days later in the hospital. I wanted to attend his funeral, but couldn’t. The pain was too big. I still feel his smell sometimes, that smell of burned skin. And the anger and hate towards the fucked system this country makes me sick. 65 victims like Ionut lost the battle due to that fire. But the pain and the hurt we still feel after 5 years will not fade.
Why? Well maybe because Romania is so corrupt that even after 5 years, no person took full responsibility for what happened? Maybe because after 5 years, the mayor from then, who was convicted at 8 years of suspended sentenced, has been reelected this year and his campaign slogan was: “pay attention who you vote for, to don’t get burned again???”. It is disgusting, absolutely out of any human emotion you can feel. Imagine what the families who lost their loved ones are feeling. Nothing has been done. And will never be.
Goodbye to Gravity had a great song called ” The way we die”. It seemed like those guys knew what will happen. And maybe, we should learn something from the following lyrics:
“Fuck all your wicked corruption
It’s been there since our inception, but we couldn’t see
All the times we’ve felt so hollow
As our hopes were hanged in gallows
All this time we’ve been locked away
And there was nothing left to say
We’re not numbers we’re free, we’re so alive (so alive)
‘Cause the day we give in is the day we die (the day we die)”