The death toll from fire in an intensive care unit of a private hospital in southeastern Turkey rose to 11 on Sunday, the Gaziantep Prosecutor’s Office said. 

The incident took place at 4.45 a.m. (0145 GMT) Saturday in a COVID-19 intensive care unit at the SANKO University Hospital in Gaziantep.

The fire was caused by the explosion of an oxygen ventilator. Eleven patients receiving virus treatment were transferred to nearby hospitals.

Some 51 people, including doctors, health staff and security guards, were affected by the fire while moving the patients, the hospital said in a statement, adding that an investigation has been launched into the incident.

Two prosecutors along with an expert committee are looking into the cause of the hospital fire, according to the prosecutor’s office.

The painful incident has upset us all, Health Minister Fahrettin Koca said on Twitter. Wishing Allah’s mercy upon the victims, he said the government is closely following the developments.

*Writing by Burak Dag

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