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Turkey: 8 patients killed in hospital fire

world Updated: May 26, 2009 10:28 IST

AP
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Eight patients receiving intensive care died after a fire struck a western Turkish hospital early on Tuesday, the governor said.

Governer Sahabettin Harputlu of Bursa province said all eight patients had been treated at the intensive care unit of the Sevket Yilmaz hospital.

"Firefighters quickly extinguished the fire and rescue workers evacuated 44 patients but unfortunately half of the 16 intensive care unit patients died," Harputlu told state-run television.

"We don't know yet whether they were poisoned by smoke or died when life supporting machines were left without power during the fire." Harputlu said smoke filled the hospital and windows were broken to help clean the air inside. He said a short circuit was believed to be the cause of the fire.

Private Show television said all eight patients, including three women and five men, were suffocated.

Some patients angrily complained that ventilators did not work. Medical teams were frantically trying to evacuate patients in a panic following the fire in the early hours of Tuesday, television footage showed.

All other patients were in stable condition, Harputlu said.