SOFIA, Bulgaria (AP) – A fire broke out in a hospital for patients with COVID-19 in Bulgaria early Sunday, killing three people, officials said.
The fire in the southern Bulgarian town of Sliven started at around 2:40 a.m., local fire chief Vladimir Demirev told reporters.
The fire occurred in a room on the fourth floor where three male patients received care.
“Two of the patients died on the spot, while the third was transported to an emergency hospital, where he died from his severe burns,” Demirev said.
The fire was quickly extinguished, and an investigation was launched to establish the cause.
A new rise in coronavirus cases is overpowering Bulgaria’s diseased healthcare 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.
The Associated Press