Three people are dead after a fire
broke out at a hospital in the town of Tivoli, near Rome, late
Some 200 patients had to be evacuated from the hospital.
"All you could see was smoke and the power went out," said 39-year-old Paolo Gabrielli, one of the survivors.
"We managed to escape thanks to the emergency lights. They were moments of panic".
Tivoli prosecutors have opened a criminal investigation into multiple culpable homicide and culpable causation of a fire and ordered autopsies of the victims' bodies.
Tivoli Chief Prosecutor Francesco Menditto said that the fire started outside the hospital, at the back of the building.
The early stages of the fire involved waste, he said.
The flames then spread to the basement up to the emergency room, he added. "We have acquired numerous images from the video surveillance system, from which we have a clear picture of what happened and through which we can rule out foul play at the moment," said Menditto.
Investigators are also trying to establish what went wrong with the fire-prevention system.
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