N Macedonia march honors victims in COVID-19 hospital fire

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People march in silence to honor the victims in the burned out makeshift hospital in North Macedonia’s northwestern town of Tetovo, Saturday, Sept. 11, 2021. Hundreds of people have marched Saturday in northwestern town of Tetovo to honor their 14 countrymen killed in a deadly fire that broke earlier this week and destroyed COVID-19 field hospital. (AP Photo/Boris Grdanoski)

SKOPJE, North Macedonia (AP) — Hundreds of people marched Saturday in a North Macedonia town to honor the 14 people killed in a fire at a COVID-19 field hospital earlier this week.

People marched in silence through central Tetovo and kneeled in front of the destroyed hospital. They also placed a wreath and flowers at the site.

The fire broke out late Wednesday, destroying the facility within a few minutes, killing 12 patients and two visiting relatives. Twelve people were also injured. The blaze is believed to have started by accident, although an investigation is still underway.

Nineteen field hospitals, funded by a World Bank loan, have been set up across North Macedonia over the past year to tackle surging coronavirus hospitalizations and a shortage of hospital beds.

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