bucharest nightclub fire
Paramedics carry an injured person at a hospital in Bucharest, Romania after a fire at a nightclubReuters

Romanian police have issued 24-hour arrest warrants for club owners Costin Mincu, Alin George Anastasescu and Paul Gancea. A fire at the Colectiv nightclub killed 31 people with nearly 200 injured.

The fire started on Friday (30 October) when fireworks set alight inside the club ignited insulation foam on a pillar, causing flames to spread throughout the building. It caused a stampede and around 400 people were trapped inside.

Many blamed local authorities for failing to properly inspect clubs and other public buildings. Some took to Twitter to comment on the tragedy under the hashtag #CorruptionKills.

Prosecutors said they had issued 24-hour arrest warrants after closed-door legal hearings and they have also requested the court for 30-day warrants.

"Data and evidence... have shown the fire occurred because the people managing the respective space encouraged and allowed a number of people above the club's limit in a space that was not endowed with more emergency exits," prosecutors said according to a Telegraph report.

They further claim that the owners allowed "a fireworks show in the indoor venue that was improper as it... contained easily flammable materials illegally installed to avoid additional costs."

The three nightclub owners have declined to comment.

Victor Ponta, the Romanian prime minister warned authorities to make sure nightclubs and bars met safety standards. "It's awful that you let your children go in the evening to the club, and you go to look for them at the morgue," he said in a statement on Saturday.

Hundreds of mourners gathered in front of Colectiv on Monday to lay flowers and light candles for the victims. Romania began its third day of mourning and some teachers suspended classes so that their students could pay their respects at the club.

More than 130 people were still in hospital on Monday, with more than half in a critical condition, according to doctors.