Friday, April 26, 2013

38 die in mental hospital: Sedated patients killed while they slept

38 die in mental hospital: Sedated patients killed while they slept, Early this morning, a psychiatric hospital in Ramenskiy settlement, some 53 miles north of Moscow, was ravaged by fire, killing 38 patients as they slept.

Yahoo! News carried the April 26 Associated Press report of the fire. The one-story brick-and-wood hospital building housed patients with severe mental disorders, Russian Health Ministry officials said. Emergency official responding to the scene said the fire started in a small wooden auxiliary building and spread from there.

The patients were under heavy sedatives. Because of their overnight medications, most did not wake up. It’s unclear if fire alarms sounded within the hospital.

At least 29 people were burned alive, said Irina Gumennaya, a spokeswoman for the Russian Investigative Committee.

Those dead include 38 patients and two doctors. The youngest victim was 20 years of age.

Moscow region governor Andrei Vorobyev said some of the hospital windows were barred. Despite conflicting stories that reported that the hospital doors were locked from the inside, Gumennaya quoted testimony of a surviving nurse who said that doors inside the hospital were not locked.

Poor fire regulations, combined with an electrical short circuit are proposed as the cause of the fire and the number of deaths.

Fire fighters took an hour to get to the hospital because a ferry across the canal was closed and the fire fighters had to make a detour.

Russia has a poor fire safety record, with about 12,000 deaths reported in 2012.

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