Rome, Dec 9 (EFE).- Three patients died and about 200 people had to be evacuated after a fire broke out Friday night at the San Giovanni Evangelista hospital in Tivoli, outside Rome.
Pierina Di Giacomo and Romeo Sanna, both 86 years old, and Giuseppina Virginia Facca, 84, died in the blaze.
According to early investigations, the fire started at the back of the hospital and spread to the floor where the ambulatory is located, before spreading to the emergency and intensive care wards.
The hospital’s staff and about 130 patients, including several children and newborns, were evacuated overnight.
The less seriously ill patients have been temporarily moved to a sports hall in the area, while the seriously ill have been transferred to nearby hospitals. A total of 69 patients were moved to various hospitals in Rome and the surrounding area.
The Tivoli Prosecutor’s Office opened an investigation after the fire and an autopsy will be performed on the bodies of the victims to determine the causes of death.
The Italian Minister of Health, Orazio Schillaci, expressed his condolences to the families of the deceased and said he hoped “that the investigations will clarify as soon as possible the causes that caused the fire”.
According to a statement from the UGL health care union, the fire demonstrates “the ruinous state of too many structures throughout Italy and that it is the result of negligence and continuous”.
It added that “the cuts made in recent years that today put in serious crisis their usability and the safety of patients and workers. Such developments in a civilized country are unacceptable.” EFE