Romania: tons of pyrotechnics confiscated ahead of New Year

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BUCHAREST, Romania (AP) — Romanian authorities say they have confiscated 38 tons of pyrotechnics in the weeks ahead of New Year celebrations, two months after fireworks set off a nightclub fire which killed 63 people.

The interior ministry said Wednesday it had stepped up checks in December, confiscating pyrotechnics from clubs and other venues.

The use of pyrotechnics and fireworks, both inside and outdoors is common in Romania. Safety regulations can be lax.

A fire broke out at the Colectiv nightclub in Bucharest on Oct. 30 during a heavy-metal rock concert after a spark from fireworks intended for outdoor use ignited foam decor, sending panicked revelers to a single exit door.

Since then, safety measures have been tightened up in Romania. Some clubs closed down and others shut temporarily to improve fire-safety standards.

In an exhibition to mark two months since the fire, 20 photographs went on display taken by six photographers who died in the fire and four photographers who suffered injuries in the inferno. The photo gallery, hosted at the government headquarters, is entitled "Remember Goodbye to Colectiv" and will be open to the public until Jan. 3.

Four of the five band members of the Goodbye to Gravity band which was playing when the fire broke out died, aalong with Romanian and foreign students, graphic designers, the club's cleaning lady, bar staff, architects and journalists.

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