On Tuesday, five COVID-19 patients were killed in fire at a hospital in Russia's St Petersburg. Around 150 patients and hospital staff were evacuated from the blazing fire that broke out in the hospital's intensive care unit, where coronavirus patients were being treated.
The fire that killed five coronavirus patients started due to a short-circuit in a ventilator, BBC reported. "The ventilators are working to their limits. Preliminary indications are that it was overloaded and caught fire, and that was the cause," a source at St Petersburg emergencies department told the Interfax news agency. According to the source, patients died after inhaling toxic fumes resulting from the fire in the intensive-care unit located on the 6th floor of the hospital.
Deceased patients were on ventilator
All the deceased patients were on ventilator. The fire has been contained and close to 150 people evacuated, according to the country's emergency ministry. It isn't clear how many were injured. Meanwhile, authorities have reportedly launched an investigation into criminal negligence leading to deaths.
St George Hospital where the incident took place is situated in St Petersburg's Vyborg district. It was converted into a COVID-19 facility, in late March. The city with a population of 4.9 million people has reported 7,700 coronavirus cases and 56 deaths.
Tuesday's incident comes just days after a similar incident took place in capital Moscow. On Saturday, a fire in the intensive-care unit in a Moscow hospital killed one COVID-19 patient and led to the evacuation of 200 others.
Coronavirus in Russia
On Monday, Russia reported a record number of 11,656 COVID-19 cases, bringing its total tally to 232,243. With a daily spike of more than 10,000 cases, the country has now surpassed Italy and UK to record third highest number of coronavirus cases in the world while 2,116 Russians have died of the deadly disease. On Monday, Russia eased several lockdown restrictions, allowing workers from construction, farming and manufacturing sectors to get back to work.