In the covid ward of the Thessaloniki Papanicolaou Hospital, where people with respiratory diseases are treated, a fire broke out. One patient died and at least two others were seriously injured. A fire broke out in a Covid unit where 20 patients were being treated.
Twenty seriously ill patients with coronavirus were treated at the pulmonology clinic on the second floor of the hospital, Diamantis Chlororos, director of the Covid clinic, told reporters.
30 firefighters in 11 vehicles arrived at the scene of a fire that started at 9 am to evacuate patients and hospital staff, they fought the fire for more than 3 hours.
Firefighters carried the body of a 79-year-old patient out of the fire, two more victims with multiple burns were sent to the intensive care unit. One of the victims was intubated.
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The chemotherapy department and other wards were also evacuated, as the entire building was heavily smoky.
The testimony of hospital staff is shocking
There was a panic on the spot, as fire and smoke due to combustible material quickly spread throughout the building. Doctors and nurses immediately entered the wards to urgently evacuate patients and could avoid danger.
“The smoke was so thick that we couldn’t see anything. We couldn’t take a single step. Fortunately, the fire brigade immediately arrived and freed a total of 36 people who were on the second and third floors of the building,” says the witness. There is a lot of damage to the logistics of the covid wing, which has been replenished in the past few days.
Patients from the covid ward, turned into a “gas chamber”, were transferred to other safe rooms, and the rest went down to the hospital courtyard. After the fire broke out, thick smoke filled the wing, trapping several patients and hospital staff.
It should be noted that, despite the recommendations of doctors, cases of patients smoking in the presence of oxygen machines in their wards have already been recorded in the past.
In an interview with journalists of the TV channel “OPEN» clinic director stated that the cause of the fire, most likely, was the patient. According to the publication thestival.gr, the cause of the fire was a cigarette lit by a patient. “A patient with coronavirus took off his oxygen mask and lit a cigarette. It caught fire on its own and the flames spread very quickly to the rest of the ward.”
This point of view is also confirmed by the publication ethnoswhich, citing sources in the hospital, said that the patient lit a cigarette next to the oxygen tanks and the explosion occurred.
According to the fire service, the patient’s body was badly burned, and the ward burned to the ground. Thestival .
So far, firefighters and hospital staff have evacuated a total of 38 patients from the lung clinic. Meanwhile, media reports that the number of victims has increased to five.
The fire department launched an investigation into the cause of the fire.