Officials say flames ripped via modular constructing due to the quantity of plastic.
At least 10 folks have died after a fire swept via a temporary hospital treating coronavirus sufferers in North Macedonia, authorities mentioned.
The fire broke out on Wednesday night in Tetovo in the northwest of the Balkan nation, mentioned Prime Minister Zoran Zaev, who instantly headed to the city.
“A huge tragedy has occurred in the Tetovo COVID-19 centre,” Zaev mentioned on Twitter. “An explosion caused a fire. The fire was extinguished but many lives were lost.”
“At the moment, 10 people are confirmed to have died, but that number could rise,” Health Minister Venko Filipche mentioned on Twitter, expressing his “profound condolences” to the victims’ households.
Local media confirmed pictures of an enormous blaze at the hospital in the city’s west as firefighters raced to the scene. The fire was extinguished after a number of hours.
It was unclear what number of sufferers had been in the hospital when the fire broke out at roughly 9pm native time (19:00 GMT), a senior authorities official informed the Reuters information company, declining to be named.
The modular COVID-19 unit was constructed final yr at the hospital to take care of coronavirus sufferers in the city of about 50,000 folks.
“The fire was huge because the hospital is modular, there was plastic,” Tetovo deputy fire chief Saso Trajcevski informed native tv.
“We took out victims while we put out the flames.”
Several injured folks had been taken to hospitals in Skopje, the capital.
North Macedonia has a inhabitants of about two million, and its healthcare providers are run down.
Coronavirus instances have been on the rise since mid-August, prompting the federal government to introduce stricter social measures reminiscent of well being passes for cafés and eating places.
The nation reported 701 new coronavirus infections and 24 deaths in the previous 24 hours.
Tetovo, primarily inhabited by ethnic Albanians, has one of many nation’s highest variety of coronavirus instances.