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At least 10 dead as fire sweeps thru’ Rio de Janeiro hospital

Staff wheeled patients out on beds as smoke spread through Badim Hospital in the north of the city

WT24 Desk

At least 10 people died when a fire ripped through a hospital in Rio de Janeiro on Thursday evening, firefighters said, Agencies report.

The blaze, apparently caused by a short circuit, was the latest tragedy to hit one of Brazil’s  most famous cities.

Staff wheeled patients out on beds as smoke spread through Badim Hospital in the north of the city. Nurses ran with medical equipment to reach their patients, as ambulances arrived at the scene to handle transfers.

“Many people wanted to jump (out of the hospital),” said Fatima Chavier, who lives near the medical centre. “There was a lot of smoke, many people screaming. Nurses were there, doctors, trying to get everyone out of there to evacuate.”

Other witnesses said the fire spread rapidly inside the hospital, causing widespread panic.

The fire is the latest tragedy to hit Rio, where the country’s National Museum burst into flames a year ago, sparing life but consuming one of the world’s most important archaeological collections.

The hospital said in a statement that there were 103 hospitalised patients at the time of the fire, while the city’s fire service said about 90 of them were transferred to different hospitals.

Four firefighters were also hurt as they tried to extinguish the flames.

The fire broke out around 6:30pm (local time) and was extinguished two hours later, The South China Morning Post reports.

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