Fire at Rio's Badim Hospital kills 11 in Brazil
A fire in a Brazilian hospital has killed at least 11 people. Patients from the private Badim Hospital in northern Rio de Janeiro were evacuated, as thick smoke spread through the building on Thursday night, 12 September 2019. Fire fighters arrived on the scene just before 18h00 local time and the blaze was under control two hours later, according to local media. An investigation is under way. The hospital's management said they believe it was caused by a short circuit in a generator.
Hospital director Fabio Santoro said on Friday that 11 deaths had been confirmed and searches were still underway for one patient who had been reported missing. Emergency personnel searched through the burned-out building until the early hours of Friday to recover bodies.
The hospital said there had been 103 patients in the building when the fire broke out and that "more than 100 doctors were mobilised to bring help to the victims." 77 of them had been moved to other hospitals while 14 had been cleared to return to their homes.
People on stretchers filled the pavements of the surrounding streets, before being moved to an alternative location. Some of the patients had been in the intensive care unit.
One woman told Globo news site that her 77-year-old father made his own way out of his room, but had to leave medical equipment, a neurostimulator, behind.
"It's a device he depends on for a living ... We asked a fire fighter to go get it without this device he won't live. If I could get in there, I'd get it myself," she told Globo news site.
A witness, Fatima Chavier, told Reuters it was a panicked scene as the patients waited for fire crews. "Lots of people wanted to jump [out of the hospital building]... There was a lot of smoke, lots of people screaming."