Fire at Rio de Janeiro hospital kills at least 10

Fri 13 Sep 2019 19:04 GMT | 23:04 Local Time

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At least 10 people died when a fire ripped through a hospital in Rio de Janeiro on Thursday evening, firefighters said, Reuters reports.

The blaze, apparently caused by a short circuit, was the latest tragedy to hit one of Brazil’s most famous cities.

Staff wheeled patients out on beds as smoke spread through Badim Hospital in the north of the city. Nurses ran with medical equipment to reach their patients, as ambulances arrived at the scene to handle transfers.

“Many people wanted to jump (out of the hospital),” said Fatima Chavier, who lives near the medical center. “There was a lot of smoke, many people screaming. Nurses were there, doctors, trying to get everyone out of there to evacuate.”

Other witnesses said the fire spread rapidly inside the hospital, causing widespread panic.

The fire is the latest tragedy to hit Rio, where the country’s National Museum burst into flames a year ago, sparing life but consuming one of the world’s most important archaeological collections.

The hospital said in a statement that there were 103 hospitalized patients at the time of the fire, while the city’s fire service said about 90 of them were transferred to different hospitals.

Four firefighters were also hurt as they tried to extinguish the flames.

The fire broke out around 6:30 p.m. (2130 GMT) and was extinguished two hours later.

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