A short circuit in a cable connected to a defibrillator combined with the presence of stored oxygen led to a deadly fire in a temporary COVID-19 hospital in North Macedonia last month, according to authorities. The blaze destroyed the facility within minutes, leaving 14 people dead.
The public prosecutor’s office said in a statement…that the short-circuit occurred in a defibrillator used to resuscitate a patient in one of the rooms of the hospital in the northwestern town of Tetovo. The overheating cable set alight a junction box which the defibrillator, a mobile phone charger, and another device were plugged into.
The prosecutor’s office said medical staff attempted to extinguish the initial flames, but the blaze spread quickly to the roof panels of the field hospital and from there to the lower areas of the walls and to hospital equipment.
The temporary facility, which had been built amid a surge in coronavirus cases, was destroyed within minutes. Twelve patients and two visiting relatives died in the Sept. 8 blaze, and another 12 people were injured.
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