Thu, 04 Jun 2020

Regional health officials said at least two people have died in a central Russian hospital after an electrical short circuit sparked a fire.

The blaze, which broke out in the Tatarstan region early on May 23, injured three others, and prompted the evacuation of several dozen patients and staff. The state-run TASS news agency said a third person may have also died.

City administrators said the fire erupted in the vascular ward of the Zelenodolsk Central District Hospital and no patients infected with the coronavirus were affected.

Officials also said it did not appear to have been caused by a faulty artificial ventilator.

Two fires in medical facilities in St. Petersburg and the Moscow region have raised concerns about short-circuiting ventilators used to treat patients suffering from COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus.

Six people died in the St. Petersburg facility, while 11 people were killed in a Moscow-area hospice.

Russian regulators later suspended all use of the ventilator models in question.

As of May 23, Russia reported 335,882 coronvirus cases, up 9,434 over the past 24 hours.

With reporting by TASS

Copyright (c) 2018. RFE/RL, Inc. Republished with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave NW, Ste 400, Washington DC 20036

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