Romania: scandal over explosions at illegal filling station

Two people died and 58 people were injured in several explosions at a liquid petroleum gas (LPG) filling station in the town of Crevedia, near Bucharest, on Saturday. Fire inspectors had already informed the authorities about serious problems at the site in 2020. The station's operating licence had been withdrawn, but it was never shut down. Another case of lethal Romanian corruption, says the national press.

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Deutsche Welle (RO) /

All eyes on corruption

Romania's anti-corruption investigators have their work cut out for them, Deutsche Welle's Romanian Service comments:

“The Crevedia tragedy would not have happened if the law had been respected, if the mayor had not protected the owner of the filling station where the explosion occurred, if there had not been a crony network of regional Social Democrat [PSD] party functionaries. This tragedy would not have happened if all the institutions with supervisory powers had done their job properly. The anti-corruption investigators will have to examine all this to understand what ties there were between the filling station operator and those who should have put an end to his business.”

Spotmedia (RO) /

Something is rotten

The explosions reveal the weakness of the Romanian state, Spotmedia affirms:

“The tragedies that occur week after week in Romania are not simply accidents. They are expressions of the breakdown of a state whose infrastructure has been totally destroyed by incompetence, clientelism and corruption. In all the tragedies of the recent past, no one would have died if the state institutions had fulfilled their most basic tasks. ... And yet the LPG filling station was clearly able to continue operating illegally. The locals refilled their gas cylinders there, huge tank lorries delivered fuel. ... The business was located in plain sight on the DN1A national motorway, yet supposedly no one noticed anything in the three years [since the filling station was banned].”