Wednesday 18 September 2019

Hospital fire in Brazil leaves 11 dead as frail patients have to be evacuated and cared for on street

Patients are evacuated from the Rio hospital. Photo: AP
Patients are evacuated from the Rio hospital. Photo: AP

Christopher Tochia

A fire raced through a hospital in Rio de Janeiro, leaving at least 11 people dead and forcing staff to wheel patients into the streets on beds or in wheelchairs.

Four firefighters were hospitalised after battling the overnight blaze at Badim Hospital and about 90 patients were transferred to other hospitals. Authorities are investigating the cause of the blaze.

Medical workers in surgical masks rolled equipment into the road as smoke billowed from the building after fire broke out.

Staff were shown on TV tending to patients sitting in wheelchairs with IV poles beside them in the street, some on sheets and mattresses. Elderly and intensive care patients were among those rescued on Thursday night. In the chaos, distraught relatives tried to track down patients, unsure of whether they had perished in the fire or transferred to another medical facility.

Standing near ambulances, a woman said she couldn't find her 76-year-old mother, who had been hospitalised after suffering several strokes.

Irish Independent

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