Fire in COVID hospital kills 3 in Bulgaria

SOFIA, Bulgaria (AP) — Fire broke out on a ward for COVID-19 patients in Bulgaria early Sunday, killing three people, officials said.

The fire in the southern Bulgarian town of Sliven broke out at about 2:40 a.m., the chief of the local fire brigade, Vladimir Demirev, told reporters.

The blaze occurred in a room on the fourth floor where three male patients were receiving care.

“Two of the patients died on the spot, while the third one was transported to a emergency hospital where he has died of his severe burns,” Demirev said.

The fire was quickly extinguished, and an investigation was launched to establish the cause.

A new surge in coronavirus cases is overwhelming Bulgaria’s ailing health care system. On Sunday, health authorities reported 8,178 patients in COVID-19 wards, 745 of them in intensive care.

The Balkan country of 7 million remains the least-vaccinated in the 27-nation European Union, with less than one-third of its adults fully vaccinated.

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