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Explosion in Russia.

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On Saturday, an explosion occurred in a makeshift coronavirus hospital at the South Ural State of Chelyabinsk, Russia.

The Ministry of Health said that the explosion took place in the booth where the oxygen tanks were being stored. There were no casualties as a result of the explosion, but two severe patients that were in the intensive care unit (ICU) died due to an abrupt cut in the supply of oxygen to the ICU. The governor of Chelyabinsk denied that the two patients died as a result of the oxygen cut, and said they died before the accident took place. Around 170 coronavirus patients were in the hospital during the explosion.

Prosecutor Vitaly Lopin said,

According to preliminary data, during the disconnection of oxygen immediately before or after the explosion, two severe patients died.

Vitaly Lopin.

Firefighters were immediately deployed to the area where they had to retreat after they noticed an oxygen cannister was about to explode. Around 20 fire-engines and 76 personnel were sent to the scene to combat the fire. The blaze that ensued after the explosion, spread to nearby residential buildings, while two stories of the hospital was also ablaze. Soon afterwards, the firefighters managed to take control of the situation, and extinguished the fire.

An investigation into the cause of the explosion has been launched. Russia has been plagued by malfunctioning coronavirus equipment over the past 6 months. Last May, an overloaded ventilator in a hospital in St. Petersburg caught fire, killing 5 patients in the ICU.

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