Brazilian hospital fire kills at least 11 elders

Source:Xinhua Published: 2019/9/14 16:38:48

A fire engulfing a private hospital here on Thursday night has killed at least 11 people, all of whom were elderly patients, according to local authorities.

Through an analysis of the images from the Badim Hospital's cameras, investigators have concluded that the fire started in the hospital's power generator, and police are still conducting forensic work.

All victims were patients aged 66 to 96 and most of them died of smoke inhalation, according to the authorities.

The number of people injured during the fire has yet to be disclosed, but there are reports of people suffering serious wounds. One woman is reported to have broken both ankles in her attempt to escape.

The fire broke out on Thursday around 6:30 p.m. local time (2130 GMT) and lasted several hours.

Firefighters from six precincts were deployed to extinguish the fire and evacuate patients, caretakers and employees from the site.

According to the local news site G1, firefighters reported that the hospital's windows had been screwed shut, making their work more difficult.

Investigation into the cause of the fire is still underway, with initial reports pointing to a short circuit in the generator.

Located near the city's world-renowned Maracana stadium, the Badim Hospital had 103 patients occupying the infirmaries and intensive care units when the fire started.

Out of the patients transferred to 12 other facilities in the city, 15 were released and 77 remain hospitalized, the hospital administration said. In addition, 20 of the hospital's 224 workers are hospitalized as well.

Marcelo Crivella, mayor of Rio de Janeiro, declared three days of official mourning for the fire victims. President Jair Bolsonaro also expressed his condolences.

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