AP

Fire at hospital in Brazil kills 11 people, many elderly

Sep 13, 2019, 3:38 PM
Nurses bring out medical supplies from a burning hospital in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Thursday, Sept...
Nurses bring out medical supplies from a burning hospital in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Thursday, Sept. 12, 2019. The fire forced staff to hastily evacuate patients and temporarily settle some on sheets and mattresses in the street while firefighters fought the blaze. (AP Photo/Leo Correa)
(AP Photo/Leo Correa)

RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) — A fire raced through a hospital in Rio de Janeiro, forcing staff to wheel patients into the streets on stretchers or in wheelchairs and killing at least 11 people, many of them elderly.

Four firefighters were hospitalized after battling the overnight blaze at Badim Hospital and about 90 patients were transferred to other hospitals, the fire department said. A rope made from bedsheets and used in an attempt to escape the fire still hung from an upper floor window of the hospital Friday.

Most victims died of asphyxiation as smoke filled the wards, and some died when life support equipment stopped working in the fire, said Gabriela Graça, director of the state Institute of Forensic Medicine.

Carlos Outerelo was visiting his sick mother when the fire started Thursday night. The 90-year-old woman, Berta Gonçalves Berreiros Sousa, was among the dead.

“They said to stay closed off in the rooms so the smoke couldn’t get in, and that it was under control. But in reality, it wasn’t under control,” Outerelo said outside the morgue where his mother’s body was taken.

“The smoke started coming from the air conditioning ducts and it turned black and became hard to see,” he said. “It was horrible.”

Daniel Freitas de Brito said his 83-year-old mother, Irene Freitas, also died in the fire.

“I lost my mom, which is awful,” de Brito said at the morgue. “It*s tragic. … I wish she had had a natural death, not to die in this way.”

When firefighters arrived, they evacuated people but it was more difficult to move patients who were hooked up to medical equipment, according to reports.

Camila Donato, a police spokeswoman, said police were cleared by firefighters to enter the hospital Friday morning and had begun investigating the case.

As the fire burned, medical workers in surgical masks rolled equipment in the road as smoke billowed from the building. Television images showed staff tending to patients sitting in wheelchairs with IV poles beside them in the street, some on sheets and mattresses.

A woman carried an oxygen tank. One patient was moved into the street in a regular hospital bed.

Intensive care patients were among those rescued.

In the chaos, distraught relatives tried to track down patients, unsure of whether they had perished in the fire or had been transferred to another medical facility.

Authorities released a list of names of 10 of the dead, some in their 80s and 90s.

Marcelo Crivella, the mayor of Rio de Janeiro, said a total of 11 people died. He declared an official mourning period of three days.

A social worker and other Badim Hospital staff are assisting relatives of patients, the hospital said Friday.

The hospital is in a middle-income neighborhood and a short walk from Maracana stadium, which was used for World Cup soccer matches, the 2016 Rio Olympics and also Copa America soccer fixtures this year.

Badim Hospital is part of a chain of private hospitals in Brazil operated by the D*Or São Luiz network. Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro is currently in the care of the same group at another of its hospitals in Sao Paulo, where he is recovering from a surgery related to a stabbing last year.

The website of the Badim Hospital says its 2018 renovation includes “state-of-the-art infrastructure” and is geared to provide “luxury” treatment. The hospital “aims to guarantee the comfort and hospitality necessary in this delicate moment of the patient’s life,” the website says.

A rope made of bed sheets used to escape from the upper floor of the Badim Hospital hangs from a window, where a fire left at least 11 people dead, in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Friday, Sept. 13, 2019. The fire raced through the hospital forcing staff to wheel patients into the streets on beds or in wheelchairs. (AP Photo/Leo Correa) Firefighters and investigators stand at the entrance of the Badim Hospital, where a fire left at least 11 people dead, in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Friday, Sept. 13, 2019. The fire raced through the hospital forcing staff to wheel patients into the streets on beds or in wheelchairs. (AP Photo/Leo Correa) A rope made of bedsheets that was used to escape from the upper floor of the Badim Hospital, is seen tied to a window, where a fire left at least 11 people dead, in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Friday, Sept. 13, 2019. The fire raced through the hospital forcing staff to wheel patients into the streets on beds or in wheelchairs. (AP Photo/Leo Correa) A hole is seen on an outside wall of the Badim Hospital, where a fire left at least 11 people dead, in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Friday, Sept. 13, 2019. The fire raced through the hospital forcing staff to wheel patients into the streets on beds or in wheelchairs. (AP Photo/Leo Correa) A hospital employee stands next to medical equipment at the Badim Hospital, where a fire left at least 11 people dead, in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Friday, Sept. 13, 2019. The fire raced through the hospital forcing staff to wheel patients into the streets on beds or in wheelchairs. (AP Photo/Leo Correa) Investigators stand at the entrance of the Badim Hospital, where a fire left at least 11 people dead, in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Friday, Sept. 13, 2019. The fire raced through the hospital forcing staff to wheel patients into the streets on beds or in wheelchairs. (AP Photo/Leo Correa) A firefighter and investigators stand at the entrance of the Badim Hospital, where a fire left at least 11 people dead, in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Friday, Sept. 13, 2019. The fire raced through the hospital forcing staff to wheel patients into the streets on beds or in wheelchairs. (AP Photo/Leo Correa) Relatives of one the victims of the Badim Hospital fire leave the Medical Legal Institute morgue in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Friday, Sept. 13, 2019. A fire raced through the Badim hospital in Rio de Janeiro, forcing staff to wheel patients into the streets on beds or in wheelchairs and leaving at least 11 people dead, Brazilian officials said Friday. (AP Photo/Leo Correa) Daniel Freitas, talks to journalists about his mother, Irene Freitas, who died in the fire at the Badim Hospital, outside the the Medical Legal Institute morgue in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Friday, Sept. 13, 2019. The fire raced through the hospital in Rio de Janeiro, forcing staff to wheel patients into the streets on beds or in wheelchairs and leaving at least 11 people dead, Brazilian officials said Friday. (AP Photo/Leo Correa) Hospital employees work next to medical equipments at the Badim Hospital, where a fire left at least 11 people dead, in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Friday, Sept. 13, 2019. The fire raced through the hospital forcing staff to wheel patients into the streets on beds or in wheelchairs. (AP Photo/Leo Correa) Patients are evacuated from a burning hospital in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Thursday, Sept. 12, 2019. The fire forced staff to hastily evacuate patients and temporarily settle some on sheets and mattresses in the street while firefighters fought the blaze. (AP Photo/Leo Correa) Nurses bring out medical supplies from a burning hospital in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Thursday, Sept. 12, 2019. The fire forced staff to hastily evacuate patients and temporarily settle some on sheets and mattresses in the street while firefighters fought the blaze. (AP Photo/Leo Correa) Personnel stand next rescued medical equipment during a fire in a hospital in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil,Thursday, Sept. 12, 2019. The fire forced staff to hastily evacuate patients and temporarily settle some on sheets and mattresses in the street while firefighters fought the blaze. (AP Photo/Leo Correa) A patient is evacuated from a burning hospital in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Thursday, Sept. 12, 2019. The fire forced staff to hastily evacuate patients and temporarily settle some on sheets and mattresses in the street while firefighters fought the blaze. (AP Photo/Leo Correa) Investigators stand at the entrance of the Badim Hospital, where a fire left at least 11 people dead, in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Friday, Sept. 13, 2019. The fire raced through the hospital forcing staff to wheel patients into the streets on beds or in wheelchairs. (AP Photo/Leo Correa) An investigator stand at the entrance of the Badim Hospital, where a fire left at least 11 people dead, in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Friday, Sept. 13, 2019. The fire raced through the hospital forcing staff to wheel patients into the streets on beds or in wheelchairs. (AP Photo/Leo Correa) A man takes a photo of a rope made of bedsheets used to escape from the upper floor of the Badim Hospital, where a fire left at least 11 people dead, in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Friday, Sept. 13, 2019. The fire raced through the hospital forcing staff to wheel patients into the streets on beds or in wheelchairs. (AP Photo/Leo Correa)

Today’s Top Stories

AP

DOHA, QATAR - NOVEMBER 25: A giant flag of IR Iran on the pitch prior to the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2...
ALI ABDUL-HASSAN and ABBY SEWELL Associated Press

US-Iran match reflects a regional rivalry for many Arab fans

The U.S. team’s must-win World Cup match against Iran will be closely watched across the Middle East, where the two nations have been engaged in a cold war for over four decades and where many blame one or both for the region’s woes.
5 days ago
Irene Cara in 'Fame' (Photo courtesy of Mgm/Kobal, Shutterstock)...
MARK KENNEDY, AP Entertainment Writer

‘Fame’ and ‘Flashdance’ singer-actor Irene Cara dies at 63

singer-actress Irene Cara, who starred and sang the title cut from the 1980 hit movie “Fame” and then belted out the era-defining hit “Flashdance ... What a Feeling” from 1983's “Flashdance,” has died. She was 63.
7 days ago
The U.S. Coast Guard ship Bernard C. Webber, leaves the coast guard base, Monday, July 19, 2021, in...
Associated Press

‘Miracle’: Missing cruise ship passenger found OK in water

The U.S. Coast Guard says a passenger who went overboard from a cruise ship in the Gulf of Mexico was rescued on Thanksgiving after likely being in the water for hours.
8 days ago
FILE - A Montana man was sentenced to three years in prison for his role in the Capitol riot. (AP P...
The Associated Press

Montana man gets 3 years in prison for role in Capitol riot

A Montana man will spend three years in federal prison for his role in the Jan. 6, 2021, riot at the U.S Capitol.
9 days ago
Debbie, left, and Chet Barnett place flowers at a memorial outside of the Chesapeake, Va., Walmart ...
The Associated Press

Walmart shooter left ‘death note,’ bought gun day of killing

According to authorities in Virginia, the Walmart shooter bought his gun just hours prior to killing six employees.
9 days ago
Dry lakebed...
Kira Hoffelmeyer

Lawsuit looms over tiny fish in drought-stricken West

RENO, Nev. (AP) — Conservationists have notified U.S. wildlife officials that they will sue over delayed decisions related to protections for two rare fish species that are threatened by groundwater pumping in the drought-stricken West. The Center for Biological Diversity sent a formal notice of intent to sue the Fish and Wildlife Service last week […]
11 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Spicy Homemade Loaded Taters Tots...
Macey's

5 game day snacks for the whole family (with recipes!)

Try these game day snacks to make watching football at home with your family feel like a special occasion. 
Happy joyful smiling casual satisfied woman learning and communicates in sign language online using...
Sorenson

The best tools for Deaf and hard-of-hearing workplace success

Here are some of the best resources to make your workplace work better for Deaf and hard-of-hearing employees.
Team supporters celebrating at a tailgate party...
Macey's

8 Delicious Tailgate Foods That Require Zero Prep Work

In a hurry? These 8 tailgate foods take zero prep work, so you can fuel up and get back to what matters most: getting hyped for your favorite
christmas decorations candles in glass jars with fir on a old wooden table...
Western Nut Company

12 Mason Jar Gift Ideas for the 12 Days of Christmas [with recipes!]

There are so many clever mason jar gift ideas to give something thoughtful to your neighbors or friends. Read our 12 ideas to make your own!
wide shot of Bear Lake with a person on a stand up paddle board...

Pack your bags! Extended stays at Bear Lake await you

Work from here! Read our tips to prepare for your extended stay, whether at Bear Lake or somewhere else nearby.
young boy with hearing aid...
Sorenson

Accommodations for students who are deaf and hard of hearing

These different types of accommodations for students who are deaf and hard of hearing can help them succeed in school.
Fire at hospital in Brazil kills 11 people, many elderly