Six people are dead and nearly 70 others injured following a blaze at a retirement home in Milan, Italy early on Friday, emergency services have said.
The fire broke out at the Casa per Coniugi Institution in the Corvetto neighborhood in the south-eastern part of the city.
Milan Mayor Giuseppe Sala, who arrived on site, said that the flames themselves were extinguished swiftly, but many elderly residents suffered from smoke inhalation.
There were 167 people in the building when the blaze started, he said.
The spokesman for the Luca Cari national firefighting service told Reuters that six people were killed and 68 were injured in the incident. Three people were hospitalized in critical condition, but the remaining victims suffered from non-life-threatening, mostly light injuries, he added.
Some Italian outlets earlier put the number of those wounded at 81, clarifying that all of them suffered from smoke inhalation, not burns.
According to broadcaster Rai, those killed were between 69 and 87 years-old. Two women from a room where the fire allegedly started burned to death, with the other victims being overcome by the fumes, it added.
The causes for the blaze are currently being investigated. The firefighters on the scene are leaning towards accidental reasons, the local media claimed.
The ill-fated nursing home is located in the three-story building, which was constructed in 1920. It hosts elderly people, who are not self-sufficient, including Alzheimer’s patients.