8 COVID patients die in Turkey hospital fire
Published: 02:18 PM, 19 December 2020 Updated: 03:21 PM, 19 December 2020
Eight people were killed as a fire broke out in a private hospital's COVID-19 intensive care unit on Saturday in southern Turkey, state-run media reported.
The explosion of an oxygen ventilator caused the fire, the governor's office in the southeastern province of Gaziantep said.
Seven patients died on the scene while one died on way to another hospital. Eleven other patients receiving treatment in the unit were transferred to nearby hospitals, the office added.
The Anadolu news agency said the fire started when an oxygen cylinder exploded at the privately-run Sanko University Hospital unit.
The agency cited a hospital statement identifying the victims as being aged between 56 and 85. The fire was quickly brought under control.
Intensive care units across Turkey currently have a 74% bed occupancy rate due to the coronavirus outbreak, according to government figures, although medical associations have claimed that hospitals are overrun.