By | Rachel Brooks
Staff | Telegraph Local
Above, Radio Free Europe broadcasts the scene outside the hospital in St. Petersburg post the fire.
They were on the verge of death in a St. Petersburg hospital’s intensive care unit. It was from COVID-19. Then, a ventilator working overtime at St. George’s hospital caught fire and ended the lives of five people. This was reported by the BBC on May 12. The fire broke out on the hospital’s sixth floor. It did not spread beyond that little COVID-19 ward that was one last waking light, one last waking hell for five souls.
The fire was quickly extinguished. St. George’s hospital was evacuated of 150 people. This is citing the country’s emergency ministry. The BBC reports that all the people who died in the May 12 fire were on ventilators.
Russia battles to stay abreast of COVID-19 as the country faces a perilous shortage of ventilators. This was reported by Russia’s NTV News network. The doctors of St. George’s hospital stated that the overwork of the ventilators caused a short-circuit in said ventilators “literally to explode.”
St. Petersburg, citing The BBC report, is a city of 4.9 million people. In all that vast population, there are but 5,483 hospital beds for COVID-19 patients.
BFM News shared a clip from Russia’s RT News of smoke rolling out of the St. George’s hospital’s sixth floor. BFM states that some of the victims were attached to the ventilators as they burst into flame.
Bloomberg has pointed out that the same ventilators that have had mechanical failures and caused this fatal fire were the same models sent by Russian President Vladimir Putin to the U.S. President Donald Trump. This has caused increased fear that ventilators will begin to catch fire in the United States hospitals.
Despite these fears, Radio Free Europe reports that the U.S. has not used the Russian ventilators it was sent. FEMA therefore elected to return the faulty ventilators that were suspected in the Russian fires.
Radio Free Europe also captured footage from the scene at St. George’s hospital. A camera close in on the COVID-19 ward shows the windows blown out by the heat. The windows do not appear from footage to be made of glass, but rather to be barred over with a metal meshing. The meshing appears to be intact, but the apparently plastic or plexiglass covering that protects the windows is blown out of the windows.
Footage from Radio Free Europe also shows officials gathered about with firefighters and police. Some of the external officials were gearing up in Hazmat suits to go in. Staff in the hospital in full protective gear can be seen pacing about the scene from the camera at street level that is trained on the ward.
Radio Free Europe has reported more than one mysterious death due to ventilators in recent news. One female patient in Moscow was killed by such a fire, three days before the fire in St. Petersburg.
Russia has reported other strange fire incidents in recent news. RT shared footage of a recent fire that shot from out of a crack in pavement, straight out from under the ground. It was not stated along with the clip what caused this fire, or if electrical wiring surges are causing such randomized fires in the ground.