Three people are dead after a fire broke out at a hospital in the town of Tivoli, near Rome, late on Friday. Some 200 patients evacuated due to the Tivoli hospital fire.
A gym in the town was the initial evacuaation point. Subsequently, 69 transferred to other hospitals in Rome. The blaze may have started from rubbish, sources said Saturday.
“All you could see was smoke and the power went out,” said 39-year-old Paolo Gabrielli, one of the survivors. “We managed to escape thanks to the emergency lights. They were moments of panic”.
Tivoli prosecutors have opened a criminal investigation and ordered autopsies of the victims’ bodies. Meanwhile, the fire brigade is trying to establish what happened and what went wrong with the fire-prevention system.
Meloni and Schillaci express sorrow at Tivoli hospital fire deaths
Premier Giorgia Meloni on Saturday expressed her sorrow after three people died in a fire at Tivoli hospital late on Friday.
In a statement, the premier expressed “the most heartfelt condolences to the families of the victims of the fire that broke out in the San Giovanni Evangelista hospital in Tivoli and closeness to all those affected”.
Health Minister Orazio Schillaci and Lazio Governor Francesco Rocca vowed to get to the bottom of how it was possible for the deadly fire to break out.
“I am here to offer my condolences and those of the government in the wake of this tragedy,” Schillaci said after arriving in Tivoli.
“I have been in constant contact with Lazio Governor Francesco Rocca.
“I bring my sympathy to the relatives of the victims and to all the patients who were in hospital.
“I congratulate everyone (who addressed the fire emergency), in particular the police and health workers, because once again they demonstrated their qualities at a very difficult time.
“The patients were taken to safety.
“I don’t know what may have happened, but we have the utmost confidence in the investigators'”.
Lazio governor Rocca vows to get to bottom of fire
Lazio governor Rocca said, “We have to understand what happened and how the flames spread.
“The crime-scene investigators we will assess the nature of what happened and how it could have occurred,” he continued, speaking in front of the hospital. “These were moments of chaos. This should not have happened.
“We will try to understand the causes and find solutions.
“The hospital emergency room is destroyed. It will take weeks”.
Grieving family want clarity over mother’s death
The family of Giuseppina Virginia Facca, an elderly woman who died at the Tivoli hospital have demanded “clarity” about how she passed away.
“We want clarity about the causes of our mother’s death,” said Olga Ilari, one of Facca’s children. “We were told that she died when the fire broke out, but not from smoke.
“She was 84 years old and had a problem with her lungs; she was re-admitted three days ago. Now her body is in the hospital chapel because it was not possible to take her to the mortuary.
“They told us that our mother did not die from the fire, even though the death occurred at the same time. We want the truth.
“We learned of her death from a local news report”.