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At least 27 dead, 180 wounded in Bucharest nightclub fire

At least 27 people were killed Friday and more than 180 others have been injured after a fire tore through a popular nightclub in the Romanian capital of Bucharest.

More than 400 people were at the Colectiv club in the city's Old Town for a performance by Romanian metalcore band "Goodbye to Gravity," which had invited its fans to a free 9 p.m. concert to mark the release of their new album. The fire happened just after 10:30 p.m.

Deputy Prime Minister Gabriel Oprea told reporters that at least 27 people had been killed in the fire, and authorities indicated that the death toll could rise further. Some 180 people were taken to hospitals across Bucharest, including 25 people who were critically injured, Deputy Interior Minister Raed Arafat said. A code red emergency plan has been initiated.

Investigators believe that pyrotechnics were the cause of the fire, which led to a stampede as clubgoers desperately tried to flee the building. The band's Facebook page had earlier promised a "customized light show with pyrotechnics" during the show, which was to be followed by a Halloween after-party.

Romanian President Klaus Iohannis, writing on his official Facebook account, said he was shocked and deeply saddened by the deadly incident. "It is a very sad moment for all of us, for our nation and for me personally," Iohannis said. "At this painful time, I express my full compassion and solidarity with the families of those affected by this tragedy."

Several foreigners were injured in the blaze.

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