November 4, 2015


Romanian Prime Minister Resigns Following Deadly Metal Show


Romania's prime minister, Victor Ponta, has officially resigned following a tragedy that killed at least 32 people at a metal band's nightclub show. 

About 400 people gathered at Bucharest, Romania nightclub Colectiv over Halloween weekend to celebrate the album release of local act Goodbye to GravityAccording to The Telegraph, the show's pyrotechnic display experienced technical issues that caused foam pillars and the venue's ceiling to catch fire. Attendees apparently did their best to leave the venue, but struggled and stampeded since there was only one small door to exit. Police have since arrested the three Colectiv club owners on suspicion of manslaughter. 

The events have sparked protests in Bucharest, where Ponta is mayor, and demanded his resignation. The New York Times reports that 20,000 protesters blamed Ponta and the government for corruption and "lax granting of permits and for inadequate inspections of public venues."

"I have the obligation to acknowledge that there is legitimate anger in society," Ponta said in a statement announcing his resignation. "People feel the need for more, and it would be wrong of me to ignore this."

After three-and-a-half years in office, Ponta had already been indicted this summer on charges including forgery, money laundering and assisting tax evasion. He had previously denied the charges and, until now, ignored demands to step down as prime minister.