Derick Ion Almena couldn’t be this insensitive. The organizer and operator of the Ghost Ship venue and Sutya Yuga Art Collective that went up in flames during a rave in Oakland, California on Friday night, Dec. 2, 2016 at around 11:30 p.m., wrote a Facebook post that has caused fury.
Derick Ion, as he identifies on Facebook, writes “Confirmed. Everything I worked so hard for is gone…standing now in poverty of self worth.” Up to 40 people are suspected dead.
On Sunday morning, at least 24 bodies were recovered from the wreckage according to fire chief Teresa Deloche-Reed and Alameda County Sheriff’s Sgt. Ray Kelly. Four have been identified by name: Pete Wadsworth, Barrett Clark, Nex Iuguolo and Travis Hough.
Excavators, a crane and dumpster trucks have to be brought in to help in the recovery of the bodies trapped in the debris that are hard to reach and need to be “cut from the wreckage.”
City officials revealed the warehouse had no permits that allowed for a party to be held or for residential occupation, there was no sprinkler system in the two-story building and firefighters saw no evidence that smoke detectors were activated during the blaze. People who made it out alive admit they struggled to get through the cluttered warehouse and fire crews noted they were also impeded by the massive amount of clutter, including furniture and art, as they tried to tackle the blaze.
The building, located in the 1300 block of 31st Avenue in Oakland’s Fruitvale neighborhood, was a warehouse packed with paintings, statues, beds, couches and even a “coffin.” Additionally, there was a Bohemian scene of Tibetan prayer flags, Christmas lights and scores of wooden statues of Buddha, the virgin Mary, Jesus Christ, elephants and dragons that sat atop pianos and turntables.
The second-story mezzanine could only be accessed through a makeshift stairwell of wooden pallets.
Turns out the Facebook post that has invited criticism was written before Almena realized lives were lost.
UPDATE: By Monday, Dec. 5, 2016, it’s reported 33 bodies were found in the warehouse. Authorities expect more bodies to be found. At the time of this writing, only 70 percent of the building has been expected.