Three patients with Covid-19 died on Saturday evening in a fire that broke out in a Bulgarian hospital that is facing the fourth wave of the pandemic, the emergency services said.
The incident in Sliven (southeast) cost “three men” their lives, said the head of the city fire department Vladimir Demirev on television. He was 66, 70 and 81 years old.
The fire broke out in one of the wards of the Covid unit on the fourth floor of the hospital.
“The most likely cause is a cigarette lit by one of the patients,” said a statement from the Ministry of Health.
According to the Interior Ministry, the two victims died on site. A third patient who “suffered severe burns” was taken to a hospital in Plovdiv (Plovdiv, South), where he died this morning. Six other patients from adjacent wards were removed from the crime scene.
Bulgarian hospitals, often poorly maintained, have been inundated with coronavirus patients. The Balkan country with the lowest vaccination rate in the European Union is facing the deadliest wave of the pandemic amid political instability.
The Bulgarians are going to the polls for the third time this year in the hope that a stable coalition will emerge from the electoral process. Political parties promise to improve public health conditions.
Neighboring Romania also experienced a similar tragedy this week: Two Covid patients died in a fire, the fourth such disaster within a year.