Fire at ICU in Egypt's Kafr al-Sheikh hospital kills two patients: Official

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A fire broke out in an intensive care unit of an Egyptian hospital Wednesday, leaving at least two patients dead, an official said.

The fire erupted overnight at a government-run hospital in the Nile Delta city of Kafr al-Sheikh, said Ahmed al-Samahi, a spokesman for the Kafr al-Sheikh province. The hospital is treating those suffering from respiratory diseases. It was unclear if coronavirus patients were present in the ward.

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He said there were 16 patients in the unit when the fire broke out at 2:30 a.m. local time. He said the two dead had been in critical condition. Firefighters were able to put out the blaze, which was caused by an electric short-circuit, al-Samahi said.

Safety standards and fire regulations are poorly enforced in Egypt and have been linked to many deaths. A fire in December in an intensive care unit at a private hospital in Obour, an outlying district of the greater Cairo area, killed seven coronavirus patients.

Another fire in June last year in a private hospital in the Mediterranean city of Alexandria killed seven patients and injured one.

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