Five people were confirmed dead on Monday from injuries sustained in an attack over the weekend by a patient in a Romanian psychiatric hospital, the country’s health minister said.
The 88-year-old woman “was suffering from multiple illnesses and has died after a cardiac arrest.
She added that the manager of the hospital in the eastern town of Sapoca had resigned and that an investigation had been opened into the incident that took place Saturday night.
A 38-year-old man, who had admitted himself to the hospital for treatment for an alcohol problem, is suspected of attacking other patients in the same treatment room with a transfusion stand before entering a second room and assaulting more people.
Three of the patients suffered head injuries and died at the scene while a fourth died later in hospital.
Local press reports say nine others were injured in the attack, two of whom are in a coma.
“Everything happened in less than a minute,” hospital director Viorica Mihalascu was quoted as saying on Sunday before stepping down.
But Pintea disputed this version of how things unfolded, saying that there had been “a long chain of errors” on the part of the hospital staff.
“It’s hard to believe no employee heard the noise made by the attacker”, said Pintea, adding that the transfusion stand should not have been left within reach of the patient.
The government has promised checks on all psychiatric hospitals in Romania in light of the incident.