According to officials, nine coronavirus patients died Monday in Russia’s republic of North Ossetia when an oxygen pipe broke at a hospital in the city Vladikavkaz.
“Nine patients with coronavirus died, due to a shortage of oxygen at the Republic Clinical Hospital of Vladikavkaz,” the ministry said, according to Russian news outlets.
They also reported the republic’s acting president, Sergei Minyaylo, as stating that “the oxygen pipe ruptured” and “the oxygen supply was disrupted.”
The Investigative Committee, which investigates serious crimes in Russia, says a criminal case has been opened into the supply of services that do not satisfy safety criteria and result in deaths due to carelessness.
According to the health ministry, 71 patients were in intensive care at the time of the tragedy, with of them 13 using “mechanical breathing.”
According to the report, all nine of the individuals who died were on ventilators.
Minyaylo stated that the lungs of the nine patients had already suffered “90% damage” before the pipeline broke, and that it was too soon to blame their deaths on the disaster.
The problem was “promptly discovered and remedied within 30 to 40 minutes,” he added, and the remaining patients were relocated to “oxygen cylinders and backup oxygen supplies.”
He went on to say that the North Ossetia republic in Russia’s North Caucasus area had no trouble delivering oxygen to its hospitals.
During the pandemic, a number of incidents at coronavirus hospitals in Russia resulted in the deaths of patients.
In June, three people were killed in a fire at a hospital in Ryazan, Russia, southeast of Moscow, which was caused by a defective ventilator.
Several people perished in flames at hospitals in Moscow and Saint Petersburg in May of last year, with malfunctioning ventilators also suspected of starting the fires.
According to an AFP tally, Russia is the world’s fourth worst-hit country in terms of coronavirus cases, with over 6.5 million reported.
Russia has the largest official Covid-19 toll in Europe, with 165,650 fatalities, despite officials being accused of downplaying the severity of the country’s epidemic.
According to Rosstat, at least 290,000 deaths in Russia have been related to the coronavirus as of the end of May, using a wider definition.