Accessibility links

Costa Rican Hospital Fire Kills 18, President Declares National Mourning

Costa Rica's president has declared a national mourning period as the death toll from Tuesday's massive hospital fire rose to 18.

Fire officials warned the death toll could rise as the search for bodies continues. They said most of the victims were on the fifth floor of the Calderon Guardia Hospital in the capital, San Jose. Officials said the hospital - like most others in the nation - lacked adequate fire safety measures.

Officials have not said what started the blaze, but some reports said a gas leak was believed to be the cause.

After visiting the site of the blaze Tuesday, President Abel Pacheco declared three days of mourning.

Some information for this report provided by AFP and Reuters.