A fire at a Moscow hospital in Russia has killed five coronavirus patients in an intensive care unit.

According to reports, the fire was apparently started by a short-circuit in a ventilator.

And although the fire was put out quickly, five patients died in the incident and 150 others evacuated from the hospital, the country’s emergency ministry said. It is not clear how many people have been injured.

All the patients who died at St George Hospital had been on ventilators.

“The ventilators are working to their limits. Preliminary indications are that it was overloaded and caught fire, and that was the cause,”

A source at St Petersburg emergency department told the Interfax news agency.

Russia’s NTV news website reports that the fire did not spread beyond one small Covid-19 ward on the sixth floor.

It quotes doctors as saying a short-circuit caused a ventilator “literally to explode” because of the oxygen concentration, and the ward filled with smoke, which suffocated the patients.

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