On May 20, 1999 NATO missiles hit hospital, leaving death and disaster

Posted on May 20, 2013 by

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NATO warplanes resumed the bombardment of Belgrade, striking the capital city of Yugoslavia repeatedly the night of May 19-20. Bombs and missiles destroyed part of a major hospital complex and hit the embassies or residences of seven foreign ambassadors. It was the first large-scale strike on the city since the destruction of the Chinese embassy May 7.

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After the usual initial denials, NATO spokesmen admitted that a missile fired into the Dedinje district had hit the Dragisa Misovic hospital. The blast killed at least 9 people and injured many more. It destroyed the hospital’s intensive care unit and neurological center and damaged the maternity unit and emergency room.

Doctors at the maternity unit said they had finished the last delivery only 15 minutes before the missile exploded, leaving a huge crater only a few dozen yards from the building. Two women who had just completed labor were injured by flying glass.

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Serbian television broadcast footage showing hospital beds overturned and covered in rubble, in what appeared to be a children’s ward. The Yugoslavia news agency Tanjug reported that the operating theater in the hospital had been destroyed.

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The nine deaths took place in the cardiovascular department of the hospital, according to Dr. Milovan Bojic, who is also Serbian Deputy Prime Minister. A nurse told Serbian radio, ” We managed to evacuate the babies–around 20 of them–and we took the women to the basement. Everything has been destroyed.” Officials said a number of hospital staff were injured, but could give no further details.

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Victims in Dragisa Misovic hospital:
Aleksandar Bajin,
Goran Verežan,
Predrag Ignjatović,
Branimir Krnjajić,
Slaviša Veljković,
Vojin Pejčinović i
Dragan Tankosić,
Branka Bošković,
Zora Brkić i
Radosav Novaković.

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