Hamburg hospital fire kills four patients

A volunteer firefighter works at the fire in the hospital near Hamburg
Image caption,The four people confirmed dead in the blaze were all said to be patients

Four people have died in a fire at a hospital near Hamburg, in northern Germany.

The fire reportedly broke out at around 22:45 local time (21:45 GMT) on Thursday on the third floor of the Helios Clinic in Uelzen.

Around 20 people were said to be injured, and police said that that the number of dead could rise given the seriousness of some injuries.

Authorities are investigating the cause of the blaze.

140 firefighters and rescue workers, including some from neighbouring districts, fought to contain the fire. People were rescued from the clinic, some using ladders, according to reports.

Police said “calls for help were heard” from inside the building.

Uelzen is located some 70km (43 miles) south east of Hamburg.

The four people confirmed dead were all said to be patients.

But police said the number of dead could rise. “There are other people so seriously injured that their lives are in acute danger,” said spokesman Michel Koenemann.

The fire is estimated to have caused around €1m (£862,000) in damages.

The Helios Clinic is the teaching hospital of the Hannover Medical School. The clinic’s website says it has about 750 employees and treats some 42,000 patients every year.

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