Firefighters work to extinguish a fire at a local clinic of cardiac surgery in the city of Blagoveshchensk, Russia, on Friday. Reuters
Russian doctors stayed behind in a burning, tsarist-era hospital in the country's Far East on Friday to complete open-heart surgery after a fire broke out on the roof while they were operating.
The fire, likely caused by an electrical problem, was brought under control without any casualties.
Local authorities promised to award the doctors who continued with the operation and the firefighters who extinguished the blaze.
Firefighters who took more than two hours to put out the blaze in the city of Blagoveshchensk said they used fans to keep smoke out of the operating room and ran in a power cable to keep it supplied with electricity.
Doctors and nurses perform a surgery at a local clinic of cardiac surgery in the city of Blagoveshchensk. ReutersA group of eight doctors and nurses completed the operation in two hours before removing the patient to another site, the emergencies ministry said.
"There's nothing else we could do. We had to save the person. We did everything at the highest level," surgeon Valentin Filatov was quoted as saying by REN TV. He said it had been a heart by-pass operation.
Firefighters extinguish fire at the hospital in Blagoveshchensk. AP
The ministry said 128 people were immediately evacuated from the hospital as the fire broke out on the roof.
"The clinic was built more than a century ago, in 1907, and the fire spread like lightning through the wooden ceilings of the roof," the ministry said. No one was reported hurt.
"A bow to the medics and firefighters," said Vasiliy Orlov, the local regional governor.
Reuters / AFP
"This case is rare and is considered life-threatening case that must be dealt with promptly, otherwise it would result the patient life at big risk.” Dr Sameer Diwale stated. He added that "Bentall surgery is one of the most complicated open-heart surgeries, but it is life-saving if it is performed in time."
Egypt's prosecutor-general said in a statement that it has launched an investigation into the incident focusing on the technical specifications of the private hospital's intensive care unit.
The fire at Power Station No. 27 broke out around 11:00am on Thursday around 20 kilometres (13 miles) from Moscow.
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