(Skopje) On Wednesday evening, ten people were killed in a violent fire after an explosion in a COVID-19 unit in North Macedonia, the authorities of the small Balkan country said and regretted “the lives lost”.
Posted on Sep 8, 2021 at 8:14 pm
Darko DURIDANSKI Agence France-Presse
“A huge tragedy has occurred at the COVID-19 center in Tetovo,” said Prime Minister Zoran Zaev, who immediately visited this small town in the northwest.
“An explosion caused a fire. The fire was extinguished, but many people were killed, “added the head of government on Facebook.
“So far, 10 deaths have been confirmed, but that number could rise,” Health Minister Venko Filipce said on Twitter.
The fire occurred in the COVID-19 unit of the Tetovo Hospital Center when the Former Yugoslav Republic of 30 orchestras.
The explosion occurred for reasons that are still unknown. Five prosecutors went there to investigate the causes of the tragedy.
“Extinguish the Flames”
The fire department, which was alerted around 7 p.m. GMT, said they managed to clear the disaster in 45 minutes.
“The fire was huge, because because the hospital is modular, there was plastic,” said the deputy commander of the Tetovo Fire Brigade, Saso Trajcevski, on local television. “We took out the victims while we put out the flames.”
Several injured were transported to hospitals in the capital.
“The fight for life continues and all services sacrifice themselves and save people,” said Zoran Zaev and expressed his “deep condolences” and “speedy recovery” to the families and relatives of the deceased.
The modular unit for patients with coronavirus was built last year in the hospital complex of Tetovo, a city of around 52,000 residents, many of whom are members of the Albanian minority in North Macedonia.
The country of two million people with fragile health care, in which the average salary is 460 euros, has been seeing an increase in the number of infections due to the delta variant and the lifting of restrictions in summer for some time.
Hospitals are overwhelmed in some places, especially where vaccination rates are low and the country complains of around 30 deaths every day. In total, the pandemic has killed more than 6,100 people.
Other countries have been hit by explosions followed by fires in COVID-19 hospitals. In Iraq, dozens of people were killed in fires that followed the oxygen cylinder explosion in April and July.