Taiwan Hospital Fire Kills 12 Elderly Residents

by
staff
An early morning fire at a hospital in southern Taiwan has killed 12 patients and injured at least 60 more.

Taiwan hospital fire

An early morning fire at a hospital in southern Taiwan has killed 12 patients and injured at least 60 more.

The fire swept through a nursing home housing elderly and mostly bed-ridden patients in Tainan City.

A hospital official said the victims died of smoke inhalation. Injured residents were being treated at nearby hospitals for burns and smoke inhalation.

The cause of the fire - which broke out on the second floor - is not yet known.

A fire official said the blaze may have started in a storage room.

The nursing home housed more than 100 patients, many of whom were on respirators and unable to move on their own.

Firefighters arrived at the scene 10 minutes after the fire broke out, but because of the large number of patients nearby residents had to pitch in to help transport some of them to other hospitals, says the BBC's Cindy Sui in Taipei.

The fire is believed to be one of deadliest at a Taiwanese hospital and one of the most serious on the island in recent years, says our correspondent.