The fire broke out on the sixth floor of an intensive care unit at the St. George Hospital in St. Petersburg, killing five coronavirus patients connected to ventilating equipment, the TASS news agency reported, citing medical personnel.
According to initial findings, the fire may have been caused by a short circuit in a ventilator or its malfunction, state news agencies said.
The Investigative Committee, Russia’s top law enforcement body, said a criminal investigation had been opened into the matter.
The country is now ranked third in the world for confirmed cases, behind the US and Spain, according to Johns Hopkins University data. Moscow is the worst hit city in Russia, with 115,909 cases.
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