Ten patients were killed and seven people sustained serious injuries on Saturday after a fire ripped through an intensive care unit in a hospital in northeast Romania.
Early reports said they were Covid-19 patients. Health Minister Nelu Tataru headed to the hospital on Saturday evening.
President Klaus Iohannis called the blaze ”a tragedy.”
The minister said the fire appeared to have been caused by an electrical short circuit at the Piatra Neamt county hospital northeast of Bucharest.
Irina Popa, a spokewoman for the emergency services, said: „Ten people have been declared dead and another seven are in a critical state, including the doctor on duty.”
The doctor who suffered serious burns was described as a hero after „he threw himself into the flames” in an attempt to save a patient.
The minister said he had 40% burns and was conscious. He will be transferred to Bucharest by military plane on Sunday, defense ministry and hospital officials said.
„He wanted to save as many lives as possible. He threw himself into the flames to save them,” hospital manager Lucian Micu said. „He took patients out of the ward next door and tried to intervene where it was burning. The nurse tried to help him.”
Dr. Micu was appointed manager late last month and is the eighth government-appointed manager at the facility which has been poorly managed, reports say.
President Iohannis said the fire was „a tragedy… that the whole country is mourning,” and asid he was grieving the death of the patients.
Eight patients who were in a nearby ward were transferred to the Iasi regional hospital.
“ The fire was been extinguished and other departments haven’t been affected. It appears (the victims) were Covid-19 patients,” the emergency spokeswoman said.