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Fire triggers evacuation of maternity hospital in Helsinki

11 Aug 2019, 23:44 ( 3 Months ago)

DF-Xinhua Report
DF File Photo.

A fire caused evacuation of the Helsinki Women's Clinic on Sunday evening, local media reported.

The blaze had originated in a waste chute and smoke spread to several floors of the building.

A Finnish language newspaper Helsingin Sanomat showed the photo of a father carrying his daughter born only some hours ago. "We were recovering in a family room and were suddenly told to get out," he said.

Timo Ustinov, a duty manager at the Helsinki fire and rescue service, told the media that the hospital building is old and thus the post-fire debris removal and ascertaining the security are cumbersome. He described the structures as challenging. The fire was extinguished in an hour, but damage control continued all evening.

Aaro Teivainen, security director of the hospital district for Helsinki and Uusimaa province, noted that small children are particularly sensitive to smoke but he was not aware of any casualties.

The clinic opened in 1934. At the time it was largest of its kind in Europe. In recent years the medical staff has complained of poor air quality in the building and some about mold symptoms. Official statistics said 9,000 births took place there last year.