At least five patients have died in a major fire at a hospital in St. Petersburg – which had been designated to treat patients with Covid-19 – while 150 people were evacuated to safety, Russia Today reports.
Emergency services were alerted about a fire at the Saint George Hospital at around 6:30am local time. Plumes of smokes were coming out of the building’s sixth floor.
At least five people died, officials told local media. The victims were patients receiving artificial lung ventilation. Around 150 people were evacuated.
The hospital was repurposed to treat Covid-19 patients after the start of the outbreak, and has more than 5,480 beds. Firefighters were deployed to the scene, and the fire is reported to currently be under control.
According to local media, a response team was previously called to the hospital on May 1 to neutralize a chemical leak on the third floor.
According to preliminary findings, the cause of the fire was a short circuit. A source told Interfax that the fire broke out at one of the ventilators. “The artificial lung ventilation devices are working at their limits. Preliminary data says that one of them became overloaded and burst into flames, which caused the fire,” the source explained.