Ten people were confirmed dead when an orthopedic hospital in the city of Fukuoka caught fire before dawn Friday. Eight more people were also injured, although the extent of their injuries has not been confirmed yet. Other in-patients, mostly elderly, were also rushed out of the hospital.
“We have confirmed the deaths of 10 people—eight in-patients and two hospital workers,” a local police spokesman said. The elderly patients rushed out of the hospital were seen receiving CPR from ambulance crews. “The cause of the fire is unknown at this stage,” said the official, adding that they are yet to identity the victims.
Smoke was already seen exiting the main entrance of the building when firefighters arrived at the hospital in Hakata Ward. Windows at the second floor of the building were also seen smeared with soot. It took the firefighters more than two hours to have the blaze, believed to have started around 2:20 AM, put out from the ferro-concrete hospital.
According to local media, the four-storey hospital stands in a quiet residential area and was opened in 1970. Most of the patients admitted in the hospital are also elderly. One resident, a 43-year old woman, in the neighbourhood said she heard cries of help at the time of the incident. She also said that “a lot of smoke came to the front door” of her house.
[via The Telegraph]