At least three people were killed last night in a serious fire in a hospital near the Italian capital, Rome. About 200 patients were evacuated.
The fire broke out at around 11pm at the San Giovanni Evangelista Hospital in Tivoli, on the eastern outskirts of Rome. The fire spread quickly. There have been three deaths, all of them elderly patients. Four deaths were initially reported, but the fourth body recovered is that of a patient who had already died when the fire broke out.
The fire, which started on the second floor, reached the emergency room and the intensive care department. Due to the development of smoke, the entire building had to be evacuated. About two hundred patients were transferred to other hospitals or were accommodated in a nearby school.
The fire brigade was able to control the fire during the night. According to firefighters, the fire prevention system did not work properly.
The cause of the fire is currently unknown. Italian Health Minister Orazio Schillaci called it a “terrible tragedy” and said he hoped the investigation would quickly determine the cause.
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