The fire broke out on Saturday night at the Colectiv nighclub in the Romanian capital, with hundreds of people inside, local media reports said.
“There are 25 deaths so far,” Deputy Prime Minister Gabriel Oprea told private television Antena 3 from the scene, where dozens of ambulances and firetrucks rushed to evacuate the injured.
The official death toll was later raised to 26 and Deputy Interior Minister Raed Arafat said the toll may still climb at the club, which hosted a rock concert attended by hundreds.
Journalist Sanda Nicola, reporting from Bucharest, told Al Jazeera that medical sources have said that 40 people may have died in the fire and that at least 150 were injured.
“The club was packed with about 300 people inside for a rock concert with a pyrotechnic show,” she said.
“Some of those being admitted to hospital have burns all over their bodies. Most of the victims were teenagers and students.
“Paramedics say that many of the people involved were foreigners who did not speak Romanian.”
Nicola said the cause of the fire has not yet been confirmed, but said it was believed that there had been a problem with the pyrotechnics.
“There was a stampede of people running out of the club,” a man who escaped without shoes told the Reuters news agency.
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