At least nine people died and more than a dozen were injured by a hospital fire in Taiwan Monday, authorities said.

The fire started on the seventh floor of the government-run Ministry of Health and Welfare Taipei Hospital in New Taipei City. Fire officials believe it was likely caused by an electrical failure in a life support system.

The New Taipei Fire Department said also said a caregiver noticed an electrical spark in a portable bed, followed shortly by flames throughout the hospital ward.

There were 32 patients on the floor when the blaze started, a firefighter said. It was extinguished within an hour and patients were transferred to other hospitals.

The hospital said patients, nurses and other caregivers are among the dead. Some medical workers helped patients escape, while others climbed to the roof to be evacuated by cranes.

The New North District Inspection Office, the police force in the city’s Weifu district, has started an investigation.

Six years ago, 13 people died in a hospital fire in southern Taiwan.





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