An explosion sparked by a fire at a Covid-19 hospital has killed 14 people on late Wednesday in the town of Tetovo, in North Macedonia, where one of the country’s highest number of coronavirus cases is. Footage shared on social media showed a building in flames and a thick cloud of black smoke billowing into the air .The fire was extinguished after hours. A total of 26 patients were inside the center at the time of the incident. The survivors are now in hospital and out of critical care. No medical personnel was killed. The government called the accident a “huge tragedy” and expressed its deepest condolences to the families and relatives. It also has scheduled an emergency and extraordinary session on Thursday related to the tragedy.
Five prosecutors, from Tetovo and Skopje, are working on the investigation into the causes of the fire.”This is a very sad day,” Health Minister Venko Filipce wrote on Twitter. He described the fire as a “terrible accident”, but provided no further details. Tetovo’s deputy fire chief Saso Trajcevski said the fire spread rapidly inside the building after oxygen cylinders exploded. “This is a truly tragic event,” said Prime Minister Zoran Zaev in a statement. Mayor Teuta Arifi spoke of her regret that the victims had been in the hospital for coronavirus treatment. Such accidents occurred in the last two years in many parts of the world due to the vulnerability of Covid hospitals.