10 die after fire hits Covid-19 intensive care unit in Romania

Romania fire in Covid-19 intensive care unit

Ten people have died and seven other people were critically injured after a fire at a Romanian intensive care ward where Covid-19 patients were receiving treatment.

The blaze spread through the ward at a public hospital in the northern city of Piatra Neamt, an emergency services spokeswoman said.

She said all but one of the people who died or were injured in the fire were hospital patients.

Romanian health minister Nelu Tataru told local media the fire was “most likely triggered by a short circuit”.

News outlets reported that the Piatra Neamt Regional Emergency Hospital has long been poorly managed, with eight government-appointed managers overseeing the facility in the last year.

The hospital’s current manager, Lucian Micu, was appointed just three weeks ago after his predecessor resigned over the poor treatment of patients.

The resignation followed media reports of patients, including many suspected to have Covid-19, being forced to wait outside in the cold to see a doctor.

Mr Micu said that a doctor on duty tried to save the patients from the flames and was in critical condition with first- and second-degree burns covering 80% of his body.

Another doctor and two nurses also were being treated for burns.

Piatra Neamt is about 220 miles north of the capital, Bucharest.

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