Free Essay

Gothenburg

In: Business and Management

Submitted By yoz999
Words 438
Pages 2
The fire broke out late in the evening of October 29th, 1998 in a warehouse near Backaplan in the Hisingen district of Gothenburg.
History of City
The Gothenburg region is an old and exciting cultural area. The many ruins in the area prove that people were already living here 8,000 years ago. Gothenburg, which was granted its charter in 1621, was intended to act as Sweden´s gateway to the west. Its position was strategic. The area around the mouth of "Göta Älv", the river, had been an important trading center since the 12th century. The city was built according to Dutch patterns, with streets and manmade canals in a strictly-designed system and a large square, the current Gustaf Adolfs Torg, next to the Large Canal.
A torchlight procession is planned to march from central Gothenburg’s Gustaf Adolf’s square at 7:00pm and continue up to Backaplan near where the tragedy took place, and where the permanent memorial will stand. The memorial, designed by artist Claes Hake, will be unveiled by young people from an association created for relatives of the fire victims, Brandoffrens anhöriga (BOA).
The major cause of fire
The building belonged to a Macedonian immigrant organization. The organizers of the evening’s club had told the site’s tenants that they were planning on having a “birthday party” for fewer than 50 people. In reality, however, party planners had plastered surrounding neighborhoods with poster and flyers advertising the event and had even sold tickets in advance. On the night of the party, nearly 400 guests, predominantly teenagers with immigrant backgrounds had arrived to dance and mingle in a room on the building’s fourth floor which was meant to hold no more than 150 people.
The process of the fire Shortly before midnight, smoke began pouring into the room from the emergency stairwell behind the stage where a DJ was performing. Panic erupted shortly thereafter as hundreds of young people scrambled to make their way out of the only available exit, a single door just 90 centimeters wide.
All told, seven different fire stations were called in to battle the blaze which claimed the lives of 63 young people between the ages of 12 and 25. An additional 213 people were injured, 50 of whom sustained serious and life altering injuries.
As the fire took place at a time of heightened ethnic tensions in the city and claimed victims of a predominantly immigrant background, rumours swirled in the weeks following the blaze that it was a deliberate racially-motivated attack.
Posters appeared around Gothenburg proclaiming, “60 young immigrants have died, now 60 Swedes will die”.

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