Nine patients are killed after fire breaks out on coronavirus ward in Romanian hospital
- Flames engulfed the intensive care unit that was treating Covid patients
- Hospital had 113 Covid patients at the time, of whom ten were in intensive care
- Fire is the third to engulf Romania’s dilapidated healthcare system in a year
Nine patients have died after a fire broke out on a Covid ward at a Romanian hospital today.
Flames engulfed the intensive care unit this morning, with footage showing smoke billowing from the ward windows.
Emergency services said the fire was extinguished within hours, with some 100 patients evacuated from the hospital in Constanta, on the Black Sea coast.
It was treating 113 patients at the time, 10 of which were in intensive care, the country’s health ministry has said.
The fire is the third to engulf Romania’s dilapidated healthcare system in a year.
Some five patients died in January after a hospital caught fire in Bucharest, the capital.
And two months before 15 patients were killed in another blaze at a hospital in Piatra Neamt, in the country’s north east.
Nine patients have died after a fire broke out at a Romanian hospital in Constanta, on the country’s Black Sea coast
Flames engulfed the intensive care unit that was treating Covid patients this morning. Firefighters quickly arrived on the scene and extinguished the blaze in hours
Patients were pictured outside the hospital shrouded in blankets to keep warm
One patient was seen propped up against a tree near the hospital wearing a face mask
Emergency services said 100 patients were evacuated from the hospital after the blaze began
A group of patients is pictured above wearing face masks and shrouded in blankets after being evacuated from the hospital
Footage shows smoke billowing from the hospital’s windows as fire fighters entered to rescue patients.
There are also reports on social media that some patients had to jump from the hospital windows to escape the blaze.
Pictures show patients, some likely suffering from Covid, sitting on the lawn near the hospital wearing face masks and shrouded in blankets to keep warm.
One patient was photographed propped up against a tree talking to rescue services workers wearing hazmat suits.
Romania’s healthcare system has long been under intense pressure, amid underfunding, corruption — and then the pandemic.
Only one hospital has been built in the country in the last three decades.
Romania also has the lowest health budget in the EU in terms of proportion of GDP (5 per cent compared to a bloc-wide average 9.8 per cent).
After the last fire in January the country’s president Klaus Iohannis said the tragedy ‘must not happen again’.
He had called for urgent and ‘profound’ reform.
The fire took place at the Hospital for Infectious Diseases in Constanta, on the Black Sea coast.
The blaze is the third to engulf the country’s dilapidated healthcare system in a year
Pictured above is a firefighter heading into the hospital to check whether the flames were spreading
Above are firefighters climbing the ladder to enter the hospital after extinguishing the blaze
Patients are pictured below alongside emergency services workers clad in hazmat suits
Two patients are pictured above sitting on the lawn outside the hospital wearing face masks