A fire killed three patients and injured four medical staff in the intensive care unit of Kosiv Central District Hospital in western Ivano-Frankivsk Oblast on Dec. 28.
Preliminary data from the investigation suggests that the accident happened due to human error.
According to the head of the Ivano-Frankivsk Regional State Administration, Svitlana Onishchuk, in total four patients were found dead after the fire, but one of them had died of Covid-19.
Three of the injured staff are in a serious condition and have been taken to Ivano-Frankivsk Regional Clinical Hospital for treatment, the official said.
The intensive care unit on the ground floor of a four-story building caught fire on the evening of Dec. 28. Thirty-three fire and rescue officers arrived on the scene, evacuated people from the hospital, and put out the fire.
The fire damaged medical equipment and beds in a 55 square meter ward.
According to the State Emergency Service of Ukraine, the blaze occurred due to human error. One of the medical staff lit a funeral candle when one of the Covid-19 patients died and accidentally exposed an open flame in a room where five oxygen concentrators were working simultaneously. Fires burn hotter and faster in oxygen-enriched air, which explains the rapid spread of the flame.
“Both the people and the state had to pay a very high price for such a terrible mistake,” the State Emergency Service writes.
The state agency said that they are calling on heads of medical institutions to strictly prohibit the use of open flames in intensive care units and near oxygen equipment.
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