Over 150 Patients Evacuated after Blast and Fire in Hospital

Firefighters Illustration

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, the Emergency Ministry said, as reported by Reuters.

The ministry said the fire broke out following an explosion in an “oxygen booth” in a dormitory that was being used as a temporary hospital. It said 158 people had been evacuated and admitted to other hospitals in the city.

No one was injured, according to preliminary information, it said. The Healthcare Ministry also said that 158 patients were being treated in other clinics and that there were no casualties as a result of the blaze.

The governor of Chelyabinsk region denied reports that two patients had died in the incident, saying they died before the explosion and fire, TASS news agency reported.

There have been several incidents in Russia in relation to malfunctioning coronavirus equipment over the past six months.

In May, a fire, apparently started by an overloaded ventilator, killed five coronavirus patients in an intensive care in St. Petersburg, raising questions about the safety of Russia-made equipment.