One person has died and 19 more have been injured in a fire at Marienhospital in the western German city of Duesseldorf, in the Pempelfort district.
Seven people suffered serious injuries from smoke inhalation, four of them life-threatening . Nineteen people were taken to other hospitals for treatment, while the remaining patients were treated in the hospital where fire broke out. One patient was flown by helicopter to a clinic in Aachen. The fire had started on the second floor in the room of the patient who died. The smoke spread over five floors of the hospital affecting dozens people. Approximately 100 people had to be treated. Over a hundred firefighters responded to the scene. They needed around an hour to extinguish the blaze which was intensified by the oxygen from a pipe running through the room. Victims were rescued through the use of staircases and emergency exits, as well as outside ladders.
The cause of the fire is being investigated. Previously, the German Foundation for Patient Protection had slammed the fire protection system in German clinics and nursing homes, calling it "insufficient". The Marien Hospital Düsseldorf is a state-of-the-art academic teaching hospital in the city center, with 437 beds, which treats approximately 63,000 patients annually. It is recognized for high performance medecine.