Tension at refugee shelter in Sofia after death of Syrian woman

Syrian refugees at a shelter in Bulgarian capital city Sofia have asked police to investigate an incident on the night of September 19 in which a 58-year-old Syrian woman who had become ill, died after an ambulance allegedly failed to arrive on time.

The incident took place at a temporary shelter for refugees in Sofia’s Ovcha Kupel residential area.

The woman’s son called the ambulance service after the woman said that she felt ill.

When an ambulance did not arrive, her son, along with other refugees, arranged for a private car to take her to Sofia’s Pirogov emergency hospital. She died at the hospital.

Local media said that police were called to the home as tensions rose among the refugees. The situation later calmed.

Bulgarian National Radio quoted the head of the Sofia directorate of the interior ministry, Ivailo Spirindov, as saying that an ambulance had arrived at the shelter five minutes after the woman was taken to hospital by private car. At the time that the emergency call was made, there had not been an ambulance available, he said.

Metropolitan emergency services head Georgi Gelev told local television station bTV that records showed that the call for assistance had come at 8.49pm via emergency phone number 112. An ambulance arrived at the shelter in Ovcha Kupel at 9.23pm but left at 9.25pm because the patient was no longer there, Gelev said.

(Photo: komalantz/flickr.com)




The Sofia Globe staff

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