#Colectiv, a tragedy for the world to know

I was a bit quiet lately, in sight of the latest events that have occurred in Romania. 

It seems that these kind of things change us and our behaviour in a way or another. For me, it has meant a heavy load of contemplation. Of unanswered questions, of terrifying attempts to understand something so horrible and so unfair. 

I felt the need to shut up. Sometimes fighting my urge to argue. To stand up and yell at the people around me, to just get over themselves and stop criticising all the time..  ..and start loving each other for a change.

But now, I just tried to keep still and figure things out for myself. Sooner or later I had to allow myself to feel happy again.

I didn't plan on talking on the subject. No.. I felt I was, and I'm still pretty sure I was right, not the one to do it. Who am I to go out in the public to talk about something that we can only feel. Or start to feel, or try to feel. Because, to be honest, there is no way in this world that I, or any of us that weren't there, can truly imagine what these people have gone through that night.

To sum up what has happened for all my readers that haven't already heard what's going on, let me explain.

 

Romanians are great people that are always up for a party, so you can tell Halloween night was one of those weekends you start waiting for from the very beginning of the week. While every club, pub, disco or restaurant was packed with people in high spirits and costumes, so was this particular one, called Colectiv. They were hosting a concert, having a Romanian rock band as a guest. 

Nothing seemed wrong that night, up till they lit some fireworks inside to make the show even more intense. As far as I've heard, the lead singer of the band has then made a worried observation, that he didn't know the fire was part of the scenario. It's hard to say what happened next. The material that the whole interior was made of was easily flammable. The spark went too close to the ceiling and in mere seconds there was a sky of fire in the club. In a rush, one can only try to comprehend, people panicked. They were running to the exit, trying to get out as soon as they possibly could. Dragging their loved ones by the hand, hoping to find everyone for a laugh outside of the club. No one thought it was serious at first. The very first people to get out very pretty sure, they'll continue the party after it all got fixed. There was no way any of the young people in the crowd could have anticipated what was about to happen. 

There were around 400 people in the club that night and there was only one, one single freaking exit in the whole club. Just one. 

The animosity of crowd scared for their lives, with their bodies on fire, barley breathing the thick, black air that has flooded the whole building was one of the biggest traps of the night. There was no other way to get out than climbing over the people that have fallen down. There was no way this could have been different, since the people rushing from the inside were pushing for air, for life. Many have fallen in the door way, others never got to it. The fire, the smoke, the crowd, a deathly mix that was soon to truly scare a nation for Halloween night.

Ambulances were coming every five more minutes, the nurses were crying, the doctors were yelling to the sky, to God, cursing and crying to let go of the tension. They were all thinking of their own children. Parents came out soon after, begging for help, begging for information and holding tight on that little thread of hope they were only left with. 

Since the entrance was clogged with people coming out, there was practically no way to get back in. But some did. We call them heroes. 

Some brave, young people went back in for their friends. They saved lives, sacrificing their own. I'm crying again while writing this.

There were survivors asking if they were dying. Coming back from a worldly hell, some were only asking if their lovers were okay. Some weren't told the truth. Most of them were lied to. 

Some had 70% of their bodies burnt out. Others even more. The flesh was melting to the ground. There is no horror movie that can ever scare those nurses again. Dozens of people were still coming out, while victims were climbing by themselves in the ambulances. Crying for help, wanting to be taken to a hospital. To be saved. Others were in critical condition, but both doctors and drivers couldn't start the vehicles, since there were so many people still hanging on to it. 

The details of the sight after everything was over and everyone was taken to hospital was not quite either. 

In the black left behind from the fire, there were unidentified bodies, there were the most gruesome halloween masks molten to the floor and there were phones. 

Ringing, ringing, ringing... 

I can bearly stop crying when I think of the people on the other line. 

Of the families and friends that were just calling to see if their loved one was fine, was living.

 

By morning, the whole country knew what has happened. Romania was genuinely a more quite place to live in, a sinister silence seemed to cover the mouths of everyone I knew. When they did speak, it was about the event. 

People were either shocked, genuinely not realising, not able to imagine the horror. Others were crying. Other were dying.. The hospitals announced more and more victims. By now, the number is around 32. Another 150 were hurt, while about 90 are in critical condition. 

The country, the system had failed us. 

There was an outrageous need for justice, for someone to blame. There was a need for truth.. When there was none.

There are so many questions that are still left unanswered. 

Why aren't there enough hospitals to help everyone injured? Why did that instalment go out without being previously tested? Why the heck weren't there more exits to that club? 

Then, there have been more spiritual approaches. Was it merely a coincidence that one of the most known songs of the band was called ever so horrifying "The day we die" ? 

The song speaks of a fight against corruption, of lives that matter and that will fight to the end.. the lyrics touched me deeply, for others they are most probably a sign. For some a weapon for understanding, for others leaving an even bigger taboo behind..

Some look for answers in the unnatural. Others question the church, their beliefs, the system, their rulers and their behaviours. 

Romania is on the brisk of revolution right now. The people are out in the streets with the tens of thousand, with more sorrow in their hearts than they can possibly carry.

Corruption has gone too far, they say.

It's killing us, they cry.

This has got to stop, they shout.

 

Corruption was chosen as the one factor that is to blame. The people release all their anger, all the frustration right now. On the internet,  outside, in one terribly tragic November.. That club should never have gotten authorisation without having the necessary safety requirements. But sometimes, it seems, for the profit of one, more than one hundred people have to pay with their lives. 

What a joke of a system! How rotten can it get?

 

I couldn't live with my own mind for too long lately, although being up to date with the latest events was like a drug, a need that made me feel spiritually close to those victims I never meat, but who could have been my whole world. That, for some of us, have actually been close, real and alive. Families are shattered, friendships and heck, a full generation. This has been hard to swallow, for all of us. 

It's not only one of the most tragic events in Romania in the past decades, but it is one that we can all relate to.

Parents have children their age, grandparents have grandchildren their age, we are their age and our friends are just the same. It could have been you and me in there, or worse, it could have been your lover, your brother or your sister. It may have been. And I am so deeply sorry for that loss. 

I don't argue any tragedy is worse than another. I would never dare to compare such a thing. But this time, it has struck me deeper than any other catastrophe I remember. 

 

Something went very wrong in the story of our country. 

It may be even human nature that has brought us here. The plain egoism we're born with. The survival instinct, whereas our lives value more to us, than the lives of anyone else. 

Then again, are we all evil? 

There have been real life heroes at Colectiv. Remember? Those brilliant fools that went back, time and time again into the fire to save the lives of their beloved.

Are they not human too? 

..Would we do the same? 

Would someone do the same for us?

For you?

For me?

...

Are we living that way to deserve such a sacrifice?

 

Debating such an event is hurting me. 

I want to believe things like that don't just happen without teaching us a lesson. Sometimes it's too late, other times it's just the beginning. 

Our country is on the edge of revolution, hospitals are packed with burnt victims, the streets are packed with people and banners. 

The prime-minister has taken the lead and formally quit his position, on the pressure enforced by the outraged streets. A victory to calm the masses.

This is a movement that didn't only happen in Bucharest, where the club was at, but in the whole, wide country and beyond! France, America and so on have come in support, Romanians gathering on the streets to seek media coverage to help the cause, to stop the abuses and to show solidarity to the families in pain. 

There were thousand of donors, blood was gifted from all cities around.

...But skin is the invaluable cure. The one thing that isn't so easy to find.

 

Gosh, what times we live in, I say to myself every day now. 

There's so much going on, it's hard to keep focused on the little daily chores we once hated, but now we need for distraction.

I don't want to bring your spirits down guys, but I'm sad, I'm confused and I'm worrying. 

I want you to question more than accuse, to think more than react and to remember, rather than forget. 

I wish we could all agree on going back a few days and act like this Halloween never even happened, and have all those people happy and healthy back in their homes. 

Sadly, we can't. We can help the ones that are still here and we can enjoy the ones that are close to us.

I hugged my mom each and every day ever since I came back from America. But I didn't noticed I was doing it so regularly until now, after these events, when the hug became tighter, longer and warmer. 

It is that one precious moment when I know I'm doing my best to show my love to that one person I'm going to miss the most someday. 

And yes, it hurts. 

It hurts because it matters.

But my heart is shattered for the ones that won't get to do this any longer.

 

I feel more and more grateful for what I have. And I feel bad about it. I feel self centred and odd, and scared. I feel things are unfair.. I'm still mourning inside and I'm not going to be quite about this subject any longer. I think we should all find a way to deal with it our own way,  to try and help us come to something good in the end. Each and every one of us has their own way of making sense of things. For me it's an inside battle. A need to think and let go of a little part of me, that still believed in karma..

Forgetting, being ignorant or just acting like it didn't happen is not a choice I will go for. Thus the reason for what I'm writing this very second. 

Then again, we shouldn't forget about what makes us happy and we should try to overcome this, together, not as a nation, but as human beings. A big old family.

I think the world should know and if this post could help inform as little as one person on the other side of the world, of the tragedy that has brought this whole country on their knees, then I'm glad I wrote it. 

These people deserve to be remembered.

And the thing is, they already are. Their souls have light up so many people, coming to the streets, that changes are bound to happen.

At least we can wish for the best..

Diana RogoColectiv2 Comments