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Istanbul hospital fire forces evacuation of patients

A number of patients were evacuated after a fire broke out at a hospital in Istanbul.Firefighters continued to...

Posted: Apr 5, 2018 6:53 PM
Updated: Apr 5, 2018 6:53 PM

A number of patients were evacuated after a fire broke out at a hospital in Istanbul.

Firefighters continued to tackle the blaze several hours after the fire started on the roof of the Taksim Training and Research Hospital in Gaziosmanpasa, a district in the northern part of the Turkish city.

Speaking to CNN Turk Thursday afternoon, mayor of Gaziosmanpasa, Hasan Tahsin Usta, said that the fire, which spread down the outside of the building, was almost under control and no casualties had been reported.

Footage posted to social media showed fire blazing on the hospital facade.

Speaking to CNN Turk, Bahriye (who did not give her last name) said she was with her mother, a patient in the hospital, on the second floor when the fire broke out.

"I just heard many noises, people were screaming and yelling," she said. "There was no fire alarm, just people screaming. I opened the door, it was all smoke. You couldn't see anyone, all of a sudden smoke came inside our room.... Flames were outside the window -- that's why we were so scared."

She said she called for help and someone came and carried her mother, who could not get up unaided, out of the hospital.

"It was so dark and I went after them but I don't know how I got downstairs," Bahriye said. She lost her mother in the process. "I still don't know where my mom is," she said.

Istanbul governor Vasip Sahin confirmed that all patients who could be moved had been evacuated and intensive care patients were being held in a safe location inside the hospital.

"Those whose evacuation could be risky are under the supervision of doctors in a safe area with the firefighters," Sahin said, speaking to reporters at the scene. "When and if doctors say it is okay to take them out, then they will be, but for now they are being kept in a safe area."

Firefighters from several districts of Istanbul responded to the emergency and worked with medical teams to bring patients to safety, according to Turkish state news agency Anadolu.

Sahin said that the fire had been confined to the outside of the hospital and that the evacuations had been carried out due to smoke entering the building.

Around 70 evacuated patients were taken by ambulance to private and public hospitals in the area, according to Sahin. He said the cause of the fire was not yet known and that several prosecutors had already been tasked with investigating the blaze.

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan was informed about the fire by Minister for Health Ahmet Demircan, Anadolu reported.

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