Ecuador: At least 18 killed after fire breaks out at Guayaquil rehab clinic

Journalist (Spanish): «They tried to get out, but they couldn't, right?» Raul Ledesma, Guayas Governor (Spanish): «This could be a way of calling for attention so they would get the door open. We are waiting for the final report.» Journalist (Spanish): «How many people were there?» Raul Ledesma, Guayas Governor (Spanish): «If we add those 12 people and the other 18, there were maybe over 40... Еще or over 30 people [involved].» Journalist (Spanish): «And the owner?» Raul Ledesma, Guayas Governor (Spanish): «The owner escaped. Police are looking for him. Some other clinics that may belong to him are being investigated. [We are not going to] let him run away, he has to face this.» At least 18 people were killed and 12 more injured after a fire broke out at a rehabilitation clinic in the Ecuadorian city of Guayaquil on Friday. The fire reportedly occurred at the 'New Life' clinic for treatment of addiction to drugs and alcohol. The fire was reported at 15:24 local time (20:24 GMT). Around 60 firefighters were dispatched to the scene to combat the fire. The causes of the fire are being investigated, with preliminary reports suggesting that the fire was set by the people inside the clinic. Most of the victims are believed to have died of carbon monoxide poisoning. Guayas Governor Raul Ledesma said, «It is not right to have such clandestine clinics, which are not formally or informally verified by the authorities, [and which operate] without the evacuation protocols, emergency exit doors or fire extinguishers, where people are locked inside.» A number of Ecuador's privately run rehabilitation clinics that treat alcoholics and drug addicts remain unlicensed and are potential fire hazards.

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