Ten people died in a fire Wednesday evening at a hospital treating coronavirus patients in North Macedonia, authorities said.
The fire broke out following an explosion in a Covid-19 clinic in Tetovo in the northwest of the Balkan country, said Prime Minister Zoran Zaev, who immediately headed to the town.
At least 10 people died in the disaster, Health Minister Venko Filipce said.
The fire occurred as the former Yugoslav republic celebrated the 30th anniversary of its independence, with festivities in the capital Skopje, including a military parade.
Several hours after the disaster, people walked past charred containers while stretcher bearers went back and forth to rescue vehicles, an AFP journalist said.
Fire services were alerted to the blaze at around 1900 GMT, and it took about 45 minutes to extinguish.
“The fire was huge because the hospital is modular, there was plastic,” Tetovo deputy fire chief Saso Trajcevski told local television.
Several injured people were transported to hospitals in the capital.
“I wish the injured a quick recovery”.
Hospitals are overwhelmed in some areas, particularly where vaccination rates are low.
It has recorded more than 6,100 fatalities in total since the start of the pandemic.
In Iraq, dozens of people were killed in fires that occurred after oxygen cylinders exploded in April and July.
Originally published as 10 dead in fire at Covid hospital in North Macedonia