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10 patients die after explosion in Turkish hospital's COVID-19 wing

Dec. 19 (UPI) -- Ten people were killed after an oxygen ventilator exploded at a hospital treating COVID-19 patients in Turkey on Saturday.

The intensive care unit of Sanko University Hospital in Gaziantep, Turkey, caught fire, killing nine patients between the age of 56 and 85.

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Turkish Health Minister Fahrettin Koca tweeted later Saturday that another individual had died after being transferred to another hospital, bringing the number of deaths to 10.

More than 50 people were affected by the fire, including doctors, medical personnel and security guards, according to the hospital.

Ten staff members were in oxygen therapy at another hospital, and 11 patients have been transferred to other hospitals.

Investigators were working to determine the cause of the explosion, which took place at 4:45 a.m. Saturday.

Turkish presidential spokesman Ibrahim Kalin tweeted about the incident, wishing "mercy from Allah to our brothers who lost their lives" in the explosion and "urgent healing to the wounded."

In November, a fire broke out at a hospital in Romania, killing 10 patients who were also being treated for COVID-19.

Investigators said a medical appliance caught fire and ignited an oxygen cylinder.

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In October, two patients died and 150 were evacuated after a field hospital in Russia caught fire due to an explosion in a booth were oxygen cylinders were being stored.

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