Bucharest — Already battling pancreatic cancer, the ordeal for a patient at one of Romania’s top hospitals was about to get unimaginably worse.

Rushed to the emergency room one night with internal bleeding, the 66-year-old woman was set on fire when a spark from an electric scalpel ignited an alcohol-based fluid used to clean her body before doctors operated. Unprepared, they put the flames out with a bucket of water...

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