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Late reporting cause of big number of victims in fire at hospital near Moscow

April 28, 2013, 18:26 UTC+3
Last week’s fire in a psychiatric hospital near Moscow took a heavy toll of lives because of late reporting and incorrect actions of the personnel
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Photo ITAR-TASS

Photo ITAR-TASS

MOSCOW, April; 28 (Itar-Tass) - Last week’s fire in a psychiatric hospital near Moscow took a heavy toll of lives because of late reporting and incorrect actions of the personnel, Yuri Deshevykh, the chief of Supervision Department at the Ministry for Emergency Situations and Civil Defense /EMERCOM/, told Itar-Tass.

“The aftermath of the accident was so complicated due to late reporting to the firefighting service and incompetent actions on the part of the hospital’s personnel,” Deshevykh said.

Two hospital aides were asleep at their workplaces. “This shows clearly that the hospital directorate didn’t have proper control over the personnel’s activity,” Deshevykh said.

In addition to this, the steps made by a duty nurse who tried to put out the fire on her own were erroneous.

“An alert signal went off in the nursing unit that was located in a separate room behind a closed door,” Deshevykh said. “She went out into the corridor and saw smoke.”

“Instead of calling the firefighting service and switching the alarm system on, she tried to extinguish the flames on her own but she failed,” he said. “After that she put down the fire extinguisher and returned to her room.”

“The nurse called the guardsman who in his turn made a call to the firefighting service,” Deshevykh said. “She switched on the alarm system only after that and left the building herself together with two patients.”

“The fact that she opened the door and let some fresh air containing oxygen into the building intensified the process of burning,” Deshevykh said. “The wooden building caught blaze immediately. There was practically no chance to rescue the people trapped inside,”

He indicated that the personnel did not use the protective hoods that are meant for protecting people against the impact of fires.

He indicated that dozens of cases of fire alarm systems going off in the institutions of this kind occur every year but when the personnel acts properly there is no loss of lives.

“In this case, however, we see completely wrongful actions,” Seshevykh said, adding that the building was totally unsuitable for withstanding fires.

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