| 5 March 2024, Tuesday |

Three killed in Russian COVID-19 ward blaze

Three people perished on Wednesday in a fire that broke out at a Russian hospital treating patients infected with the coronavirus, authorities said, with one official suggesting a malfunctioning ventilator was to blame for the mishap.

Since the pandemic began, the country has reported many fires at ICUs that doctors said were caused by faulty ventilators used to treat patients severely ill with the virus.

The blaze broke out in the early hours of Wednesday at a hospital in the city of Ryazan, some 180 kilometres from Moscow, in a ward treating coronavirus patients.

A ventilator in the ward had overheated and caught fire, the region’s governor, Nikolai Lyubimov, told state television as reported by the Interfax news agency.

Lyubimov said nurses attempted to put out the fire, but were unsuccessful in doing so, with some of them sustaining severe burns.

The Investigative Committee, which investigates major crimes, announced that it had opened a criminal case to determine whether the blaze had been caused by negligence.

  • Reuters