ATHENS – A fire broke out Wednesday in the Covid ward at a hospital in Thessaloniki, a city in northern Greece, killing one person and injuring at least two others, said Vassilis Vathrakoyiannis, a spokesman. of the Greek Fire Authority.
It is the latest of several deadly blazes at hospitals treating coronavirus patients in different parts of the world since the pandemic began.
The fire, which broke out at Papanikolaou hospital, broke out at around 9 a.m. local time and was dispatched by firefighters to the scene within five minutes, but thick smoke covered several wards and slowed the process. search for survivors, Mr. Vathrakoyiannis said.
Mr. Vathrakoyiannis said: “While checking the ward, the fire brigade found a man with burns and two victims with burns.
Mr Vathrakoyiannis said that initial testimony from other patients in the area was not immediately clear, but one man’s initial testimony suggested that a man had “burned his clothes on fire” “.
The head of the area, Diamantis Chloros, said he was in his office when the doctor on duty alerted him. “I heard her scream, ‘Fire! Fast!’ and then saw smoke billowing up outside the ward as if there had been an explosion,” he said. “I tried to go out into the hallway. There’s a thick plume of smoke coming into my office.”
There was no fire detection system in the clinic, he said, typical of older hospitals.
“There are oxygen tanks in the clinic and a lot of flammable materials, sheets, blankets, plastic, so this will really add fuel to the fire,” he said, adding that some patients had were given oxygen in the hospital yard after they were evacuated.
In the deadliest fire to hit a ward for coronavirus patients, at least 92 people died in July at a hospital in the city. Nasiriya in southern Iraq. There were also deadly fires last year in hospitals in Romania, India and North Macedonia.