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Fire at the intensive care unit of a Romanian Hospital.

Image Credit: ZIarPiatraNeamt.ro via AP

On Saturday, a fire engulfed the intensive care unit (ICU) of the Piatra Neamt hospital in the city of Piatra Neamt, 353km North of Bucharest. The blaze spread through the ICU which is specialized in treating COVID-19 patients. It burnt through two rooms of the ICU before it was extinguished.

The blaze killed ten people and severely injured seven people. The victims are all COVID-19 patients, except one. A doctor on duty attempted to save the COVID-19 patients from the flames and ended up in critical condition after suffering from first and second degree burns, that is affecting 80% of his body.

Romania’s Health Minister, Nelu Tataru said to local media that the fire was ‘most likely triggered by a short circuit.’ Sources revealed that this hospital has been poorly managed for a very long time. Over the past year, the hospital’s manager was changed eight times. The current manager is Lucian Micu, and he was appointed just three weeks ago, after the previous manager resigned after media reports of COVID-19 patients forced to wait outside in the cold for a doctor.

An investigation has been launched, as according to the country’s national prosecutor’s office there is a possibility of a case of criminal manslaughter. The prosecutor led an investigation into the 2015 fire in an underground nightclub that killed 64 people in Bucharest. The blaze sparked huge protests that ultimately forced the government at the time to leave office.

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