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17 patients die after floods hit Mexican hospital

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Medical staff move a patient of the IMSS Hospital in Tula de Allende, Hidalgo state, Mexico, on September 07, 2021. – At least 16 patients died after flooding hit a hospital in central Mexico and disrupted the power supply, authorities said Tuesday. (Photo by FRANCISCO VILLEDA / AFP)

At least 17 patients died after floods swept through a hospital in central Mexico, disrupting the power supply and oxygen therapy, authorities said Tuesday.

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The facility in the town of Tula in Hidalgo state was inundated after a river overflowed following heavy rain, the government said on Twitter.

“In this honourable job there are good, very good, bad and very bad days; today is one of the latter days,” President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador tweeted.

“I am very saddened by the death of 17 hospital patients,” he added.

The hospital was flooded in a matter of minutes, and a power cut disrupted oxygen treatment, said Zoe Robledo, general director of the Mexican Institute of Social Security, which operates the facility.

The rest of the 56 patients were reported to have been taken to other hospitals.

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According to Mexican media, the victims included Covid-19 patients who needed oxygen therapy to stay alive.

Images showed medical personnel pushing patients’ stretchers through the water.

The government deployed the military as well as water and electricity board workers to deal with the fallout in Tula, which bore the brunt of heavy rains that have drenched swathes of Mexico.

Two more people died in Ecatepec, a suburb of Mexico City where flooding turned streets into rivers, officials said.

“A lot of water has fallen throughout the Valley of Mexico (where the capital is located) and it will continue to rain,” Lopez Obrador warned.

“People living in low-lying areas, for now, move to shelters or high places with family or friends,” he said.

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