A major scandal broke out in Baia Mare where, in the last campaign week, USL Mayor Catalin Chereches moved the Roma living on the outskirts of the town in the former chemical laboratory of factory Cuprom, EVZ writes.
Wanting to prove that he keeps his election promises to clean the Craica area, inhabited by about 2,000 Roma, the mayor decided to move the first families over night. After announcing them that he would scrape off their camp unless they are moving, the mayor started acting upon his threats.
Supported by the local police, Chereches boarded the Roma on trucks and took them to the building that used to host the chemical laboratory of the famous Phoenix plant, also known as the “death factory.” The name of the plant was changed to Cuprom after 1990 and it was shut down in 2006, being considered one of the biggest polluters in Romania.
In the building, the Roma found nobody had bothered to arrange it for living purposes. The walls had been whitewashed but inside the rooms there still are lockers with 15-25 years old chemical substances in them. The sinister look of a death camp was completed by all sorts of warning signals such as “lethal danger” or “no mixture of chemical substances allowed,” left on the windows and doors since when the plant was still working. Inside many rooms there were toxic substances. The Roma wanted to leave the factory premises, but were prevented by the local police. In the end, they stayed there, but soon after they became sick, feeling nauseous and having terrible headaches.
11 children and an adult taken by ambulance
The most affected were the children. Several ambulances were sent to the scene that night. Emergency Situations Inspectorate officials said 11 children and an adult were affected. Journalists and Roma say there were actually 22 children and 2 adults intoxicated. Hospital officials say those affected recover in a few hours and were allowed to leave. While the ambulances were sent to the plant, the head of the Roma community text messaged the mayor: “What are you trying to do, kill us? People are poisoned! The ambulances are coming!” The mayor replied, “Maybe they’re poisoned by the cleanliness. If they’re sick, let them take an ambulance, that’s what it’s for!” The mayor says everything was a set-up and that Roma leaders pepper sprayed the building to make it appear contaminated.
Quelle: Bucharest Herald