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Romanian Police Arrest Club Owners After Fire Kills 31

Romanian police have arrested the three owners of a Bucharest nightclub where a fire last weekend killed 31 people and left nearly 200 injured.

The fire at the Colectiv nightclub started on October 30 when fireworks set off inside the club lit insulation foam on a pillar and spread quickly, starting a stampede and trapping many of the roughly 400 people inside.

After closed-door hearings, prosecutors issued 24-hour arrest warrants for club owners Costin Mincu, Alin George Anastasescu, and Paul Gancea on suspicion of manslaughter. They said they plan to ask the court for 30-day warrants.

All three men declined comment.

"Data and evidence...have shown the fire occurred because the people managing the respective space encouraged and allowed a number of people above the club's limit in a space that was not endowed with more emergency exits," prosecutors said.

Moreover, owners allowed "a fireworks show in the indoor venue that was improper as it...contained easily flammable materials illegally installed to avoid additional costs," they said.

Based on reporting by Reuters and AFP

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