- Deadly fire at a COVID-19 hospital left at least 2 people dead in Romania.
- This is the fourth fatal fire in a Romanian hospital during the pandemic.
- “Such tragedies must not be repeated,” said the acting prime minister.
A fire at a COVID-19 hospital in Romania killed two people on Thursday, authorities said. It was the fourth fatal fire in a Romanian COVID-19 hospital during the pandemic. The fire broke out in the infectious disease wing of the hospital in the city of Ploiesti where 21 patients were receiving medical care, authorities said.
Authorities identified the two victims as 70-year-old men. A nurse who was reportedly severely burned was transferred to a hospital in Bucharest, the capital of Romania. The cause of the fire, which was quickly extinguished, is not yet known but is being investigated, The Associated Press reported.
What caused the fire?
Acting Prime Minister Florin Citu sent his condolences Thursday morning to the families of the fire victims, saying that, “such tragedies must not be repeated.” “I always asked that hospitals be prepared for the fourth wave,” Citu said during a press conference.
“We are facing an overload of the medical system due to the fourth wave and everyone involved must ensure that all measures are taken for the safety of patients,” he said. In recent weeks, Romania’s healthcare system has dealt with a record number of virus infections and deaths. Romania is the second least vaccinated nation in the European Union, with only 40% of adults fully vaccinated against the coronavirus.
Why so many hospital fires?
What is the status of the pandemic in Romania? According to The Associated Press, more than 1,800 COVID-19 patients in the country are in intensive care and hundreds of people who have suffered from the disease have died every day in the last month.
The Ploiesti hospital fire follows a series of deadly fires that have affected Romanian hospitals during the pandemic. On October 1, a fatal fire tore through a COVID-19 hospital in the Romanian port city of Constanta, killing at least seven people.
More tragedies for the country
Ten people died in November 2020 after a fire engulfed an intensive care unit for COVID-19 patients in the northern Romanian town of Piatra Neamt. Another fire in January affected a ward of the Matei Bals hospital in Bucharest, killing five people.
After the Constanta fire last month, President Klaus Iohannis said that Romania had, “failed in its fundamental mission to protect its citizens.” Thursday’s fire at the Ploiesti city hospital is the fourth in a series of fatal fires that has cast a shadow over Romania.
Fires leave at least 30 children dead
On the other hand, this week more than 20 children died and dozens were injured in a fire that devastated a school in the second largest city of Niger, Maradi. “At this time, we have 26 dead and 13 injured, four of them seriously,” said Chaibou Aboubacar, mayor of the city of Maradi, according to the Khaleej Times.
Three classrooms constructed of straw were consumed by the flames in the AFN preschool and primary school. Children between the ages of three and eight died in the incident, the government said last Monday night. An investigation has been launched to determine the cause of the fire and where it started, the Regional Directorate of National Education said, the news agency The Associated Press reported.
What caused the fire at the school?
Often, overcrowded schools in Niger use straw huts as temporary rooms. Twenty children died in April when a fire fanned by high winds burned down an elementary school on the outskirts of Niger’s capital, Niamey. Professors and teachers pointed out that the event highlighted the danger of temporary classrooms.
“Our hearts go out to the children and families affected. Our sincere condolences to the families of the victims and their communities,” UNICEF Representative in Niger Stefao Savi said in a statement. “No child should ever be in danger while learning in school,” he said. “UNICEF will continue to work with national authorities and partners across the country to ensure that children can attend school and learn in a safe environment.”
4 babies died in another hospital fire
The tragedy spread to India. Four babies died in central India in a fire in a neonatal unit, according to authorities. An investigation was ordered into the Monday night fire at Bhopal’s Kamla Nehru Children’s Hospital, said Shivraj Singh Chauhan, Madhya Pradesh’s chief minister of state.
There were 40 children in the unit, 36 of whom were rescued, according to the Minister of Medical Education, Vishwas Sarang. The minister said that he had arrived at the hospital 10 minutes after the incident and that everything was under control. “The premature death of children is an excruciating pain,” Chauhan said on Twitter, offering his condolences to the affected families. Filed Under: Fire in hospital in Romania.
Although the investigation was still open, authorities told the Press Trust of India news agency that a short circuit could have caused the fire, according to The Associated Press.
Deadly building fires are not uncommon in India, where poor maintenance and a lack of proper fire fighting equipment often result in fatalities. Filed Under: Romania Hospital Fire.
Building fire in Taiwan kills at least 46 people
On the other hand, the death toll in a fire that swept through a building in southern Taiwan overnight on Sunday, October 10, rose to 46 people, authorities said. At least 41 other people were wounded, reported Newsbreak and the AP.
The fire in the 13-story building started at around 3 a.m. on Sunday, October 10, according to fire officials in the city of Kaohsiung. The fire was “extremely aggressive” and it destroyed several floors of the building, official sources added. Filed Under: Romania Hospital Fire.
TO THE MORGUE
Emergency services brought 32 bodies directly to the morgue from the scene of the incident, according to authorities. They added that a total of 55 people were taken to the hospital, including 14 without vital signs. In Taiwan only deaths in hospitals are certified.
Images aired on Taiwanese television showed orange flames and smoke billowing from the lower floors of the building as firefighters sprayed water from the street. After sunrise, firefighters were seen on elevated platforms, spraying water on the middle floors of the still-smoking building. Filed Under: Romania Hospital Fire.
NO IDEA OF THE ORIGIN OF THE FIRE
Firefighters were unsure of the source of the fire, although they noted that the flames had burned more intensely at a point where there were many objects piled up. Firefighters were scheduled to conduct another round of searches of the building before dark.
Witnesses told local media that they had heard an explosion at around 3 a.m. The building was about 40 years old, according to an official statement. It had shops on the lower floors and houses upstairs. Filed Under: Romania Hospital Fire.