Hospital explosion kills nine people on coronavirus ICU ward in Turkey

Nine people are killed are oxygen ventilator explodes in ICU at hospital treating coronavirus patients in Turkey

  • Victims aged between 56 and 85 at Sanko University Hospital in Gaziantep died
  • An oxygen cylinder exploded causing a fire in the hospital’s intensive care ward
  • There were no other injuries and 14 patients were transferred to other hospitals

Nine people were killed after an oxygen cylinder exploded on an ICU treating coronavirus patients at a hospital in southern Turkey. 

The explosion caused a fire at the privately-run Sanko University Hospital in Gaziantep, 530 miles (850km) southeast of Istanbul today.

The victims were aged between 56 and 85 and the fire was quickly brought under control.

Some 14 patients undergoing intensive care treatment were transferred to other hospitals. 

Nine coronavirus patients died after an oxygen cylinder exploded at the privately-run Sanko University Hospital in Gaziantep, southern Turkey, early this morning

Two prosecutors in the province were commissioned to investigate the cause of the explosion, the local prosecutor’s office said. 

Health Minister Fahrettin Koca Tweeted that nine people were killed in the fire, raising the earlier estimate of eight dead by the hospital and the Gaziantep governor’s office. 

He said: ‘The painful incident that occurred in the intensive care unit in Gaziantep upset us all. Our number of deaths is nine. 

‘Other patients affected by the fire were transferred to nearby hospitals by our 112 emergency teams. I wish God’s mercy on those who passed away. We are following the event closely.’

There was no immediate explanation for the discrepancy.

The governor’s office said 19 patients were in the unit when a ‘high pressure oxygen device’ exploded at 4.45am. 

Other than the fatalities, no others were injured in the fire, it said.

Intensive care units across Turkey currently have a 74 per cent bed occupancy rate due to the coronavirus outbreak, according to government figures.

Medical associations say the figure is higher and their hospitals are overrun with Covid-19 patients.

On Friday evening, Turkey’s Health Ministry reported 26,410 new coronavirus cases, bringing the country’s total since March to 1.98 million. 

The figure includes asymptomatic cases, which Ankara did not report in the four months up to late November, prompting criticism that the government was trying to hide the extent of the country’s outbreak.

The governor's office said 19 patients were in the unit when a 'high pressure oxygen device' exploded at 4.45am

The governor’s office said 19 patients were in the unit when a ‘high pressure oxygen device’ exploded at 4.45am

Turkey hit a record daily high of 246 Covid-19-related deaths reported Friday for an overall reported coronavirus death toll of 17,610.

A fire at a hospital in Romania killed 10 patients receiving treatment for Covid-19 last month. 

The blaze broke out in the intensive care unit of the Piatra Neamt county hospital and spread to an adjoining room. It was unclear what triggered it, officials said.

Seven other people were injured and in a critical condition, including the doctor on call, they said.

More than 150 patients were evacuated on Saturday from a makeshift coronavirus hospital in the Russian city of Chelyabinsk in the southern Urals following an oxygen explosion and fire in October.