Coronavirus Updates: Hospital fire kills 8 Covid-19 patients at ICU in Turkey

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A fire broke out Saturday at an intensive care unit treating Covid-19 patients in southern Turkey after an oxygen cylinder exploded, killing eight people, state-run media reported.

The Anadolu news agency said the fire took place at the privately-run Sanko University Hospital unit in Gaziantep. It cited a hospital statement identifying the victims as being between 56 and 85. The fire was quickly brought under control.

The statement said 14 patients undergoing intensive care treatment were transferred to other hospitals. An investigation was underway.

The provincial governor’s office later said 19 patients were in the unit when a “high pressure oxygen device” exploded at 4:45 a.m.. Other than the fatalities, no others were injured in the fire, it sad.

Intensive care units across Turkey currently have a 74% bed occupancy rate due to the coronavirus outbreak, according to government figures, although medical associations say the figure is higher and their hospitals are overrun with Covid-19 patients.

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