Fact Check: Deadly Romanian Club Fire NOT A Toxic Gas Attack Orchestrated By Jews In 2015

Fact Check

  • de: Ioana Burtea
Fact Check: Deadly Romanian Club Fire NOT A Toxic Gas Attack Orchestrated By Jews In 2015 Accident

Was the 2015 fire at the Colectiv nightclub in Bucharest, Romania, during which 64 people died, a toxic gas attack orchestrated by Jews? No, that's not true: The incident was ruled an accident due to negligence that resulted in legal consequences for eight people, including the proprietors of the club as well as Cristian Piedone, the mayor of District 4 in Bucharest.

The claim appeared in a video (archived here) on TikTok by user @dorin.zdroba on December 9, 2023, with the title (translated from Romanian to English by Lead Stories staff) "Other theories by Funar." It opened with Gheorghe Funar, the former mayor of Cluj, saying (as translated):

Colectiv was a terrorist attack with toxic gas, not a fire. ... It was a Jewish job.

This is what the post looked like on TikTok at the time of writing:

Screenshot 2023-12-18 at 14.58.58.png

(Source: TikTok screenshot taken on Thu Dec 18 14:27:46 2023 UTC)

The claim stems from a 2016 interview with Funar for Adevarul newspaper. In the article, the journalists noted (as translated):

It is hard to have a dialogue with Gheorghe Funar because, regardless of your questions, his answers inevitably reach the same topics: Jews, Dacs, Hungarians. The interview above is just part of the discussion, while the rest was dedicated to delirious theories that Funar cared to express at all cost.

Funar gave no proof for his statements.

The incident at the Colectiv club, occurring on the night of October 30, 2015, was an accident captured on video. Footage from inside the venue reveals the ignition of the ceiling during a concert, attributed to the use of illegally set indoor fireworks. Approximately 150 people sustained injuries, with 65 casualties (64 from extensive injuries and one by suicide in 2017). Legal consequences ensued, leading to jail sentences for eight, including the club's proprietors, District 4 then-Mayor Cristian Piedone and fire department personnel. These penalties were imposed due to the club operating without the requisite safety permits.

The events of the night were documented and reconstructed by DoR magazine in a piece that won a European Press Prize.

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  Ioana Burtea

Ioana Burtea has worked in journalism for over 15 years. She started her career at Mediafax news agency in Bucharest and has written for DoR magazine for over seven years. Her collaborations include publications like Europe & Me, New Eastern Europe, Balkan Insight and Washington Post. Ioana published pieces on the justice system in Romania, social affairs, politics and personal essays. In 2018, she became a fellow of the Balkan Investigative Reporting Network. In 2021, she received the first prize in the Portrait category at the national Superscrieri journalism awards. Her first non-fiction book, Fara instructiuni de folosire (transl. No operating instructions), was launched in 2023. 

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