August 23rd, 2010
01:37 PM ET

Nurse charged with murder in Romanian hospital fire deaths

A nurse at a Romanian hospital has been charged with murder in the deaths of five newborns killed in a fire in an intensive care unit, prosecutors said Monday.

Florentina Daniela Cirstea will remain in police custody for 24 hours and appear before a judge Tuesday, said Marius Iacob, chief prosecutor in charge of the investigation. She is accused of failing to fulfill duties of her job by not constantly supervising the newborns in the unit.

She left the unit unattended for 12 minutes, Iacob said, and then was unable to evacuate and rescue the newborns after the fire broke out.

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Filed under: Romania • World
soundoff (13 Responses)
  1. pero


    August 23, 2010 at 1:49 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Stephie J

    This is tragic. Just terribly tragic.

    August 23, 2010 at 1:51 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Bree

    This isn't murder, there's nothing premeditated about it. Manslaughter, negligence, whichever one of these I can see her being charged with - and 5 counts of it would still put her in prison for a long time. IDK how Romania defines murder, though.

    August 23, 2010 at 1:54 pm | Report abuse |
    • BBR

      It's incorrectly translated. I don't know the exact terminology in American justice, but her accusations can be roughly translated as murder by accident and serious injury by accident. 5 babies died, another 6 were burned for more than 50% of their bodies. They were already prematurely born. It's a terrible tragedy, electrical fault seems to be the cause of the fire.

      August 23, 2010 at 3:21 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Hidden

    This is so tragic. Babies are without ability to escape or self-defence. Leaving them unattended is such a crime. She should be punished.

    August 23, 2010 at 2:01 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Ella

    Pity the nurse , maybe Romanians just need to learn that accidents happen without ringing the bell of their doorstep .

    August 23, 2010 at 2:02 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Les Francais superior

    It is sad to read news about a nurse charged with murder/negligence. A nurse's job has a lot of responsibilities that must be attended. Sadly, a duty has been breached resulted to death of 5 newborns.

    August 23, 2010 at 2:03 pm | Report abuse |
  7. NM2010

    1. Why was only one nurse working in the nursery? Why wasn't there a second nurse or at least one other person working?
    2. 12 minutes isn't a very long bathroom break. It's practically non-existent for a meal break.
    3. Where was the supervisor responsible for making sure the intensive care unit was adequately staffed?
    4. What policies did management ignore to allow such an unsafe staffing situation?

    August 23, 2010 at 2:04 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Koilvr

    If your not Romanian don't make a comment because you have no clue. This is sad but I totally see how she can be charged she did leave them unintended 2nd the hospital should be also charged to for negligence on not having 2 nurses for such issues as bathroom breaks.

    August 23, 2010 at 2:19 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Kurtis

    What about the person(s) responsible for creating the fire? If the nurse didn't start the fire these charges are outlandish.

    This would be like if the U.S. charged the NYPD with murder for the attacks on 9/11.

    August 23, 2010 at 2:26 pm | Report abuse |
    • BBR

      The cause seems to be improvised electrical wiring on an air conditioning appliance. The air conditioning was verified two weeks before the accident and was declared safe. The manager of the hospital said that the electricians told him that it was safe, and that he wasn't qualify to check if they actually did their job. I also believe that the people responsible for the outbreak of the fire should be the primary culprits.

      August 23, 2010 at 3:28 pm | Report abuse |
  10. shawnda

    I'm a nurse and she should know better than to leave babies unattended...makes no sense. She should be punished maybe not murder but she should gp to jail to think about her actions and the repercussions.

    August 23, 2010 at 2:36 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Deana

    1 there shldve been more than one nurse in there 2 she shld know better than to leave those babies unattended 3 she needs to be punished maybe not murder but something she needs jail time and the hospital needs to be fined for negligence n what ever else. I feel for those who lost their baby

    August 26, 2010 at 1:37 pm | Report abuse |