The incident occurred due to the explosion of a device that supplied oxygen to one of the patients. The victims were between 85 and 56 years old.
At least nine people died when an intensive care unit (ICU) with coronavirus patients caught fire at the Sani Konukoglu private hospital in the city of Gaziantep. As reported by the official Turkish news agency Anatolia, the fire occurred at 01.45 GMT in the morning due to the explosion of an oxygen cylinder near the unit of this center located in southern Turkey, where there were approximately twenty patients.
Seven patients died in the ICU, one during transfer to another hospital, and another deceased person whose name is unknown. The victims were between 85 and 56 years old. There is no record of additional injuries. The other eleven patients of the unit have ended up being distributed among other hospitals while the investigation of the explosion lasts, the governor of Gaziantep, Davut Gul, has confirmed on his Twitter account.
It turned out that the risk of explosion that killed nine people in the Covid-19 intensive care unit was known in advance as the Ministry of Health sent the warning letter to the hospitals one day before the incident. Great negligence occurred after the death of 9 patients in the fire that broke out as a result of the explosion of the oxygen tube in Gaziantep SANKO University Hospital Covid-19 intensive care unit.
The Ministry of Health was reported from many hospitals that low-quality oxygen therapy devices, which are widely used in the treatment of Covid patients, started fires, but the use of the devices continued. The Ministry of Health also sent a letter to all hospitals the day before the explosion in Gaziantep, notifying that these devices caused fires and asked to focus on training to prevent fires. The experts stated that the companies that imported the devices with lesser quality and the officials of the Ministry of Health should be investigated.
A Repeating Incident
That is why a fire in a private hospital in Istanbul occurred in July. When the central oxygen systems at the head of the patient beds were not sufficient for the high oxygen flow, large oxygen tubes were brought to the intensive care rooms. Experts stated that these tubes, which carry the risk of explosion in case of exposure to a small spark or electrical contact, are kept at the patients' bedside and almost invited possible disasters.
Experts stated that the explosion occurred due to the direct connection of the device to the tube, which should normally be attached to the central oxygen jack. This development begged for the urgent removal of the tubes in all patient rooms.
Coronavirus in Turkey
According to government data, almost 74% of all intensive care beds in Turkey are occupied due to the coronavirus pandemic. The nation's daily death toll hit a record 246 on Friday, adding to 26,410 new cases. In total, the country has registered 1.98 million cases and 17,610 deaths since the beginning of the pandemic, being the seventh country most affected by COVID-19 in the world.