Friends mourn 5 Calif. nurses killed in limo fire
OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — From the privacy of their bedrooms to the public bustle of busy hospital wards, families and friends are struggling with the heartbreak of losing five loved ones, all nurses, killed Saturday in a burning limousine.
Outside the Fruitvale HealthCare Center in Oakland, the medical center where all nine met and became fast friends, nurse Medhanit Kahassai ran sobbing out the door into the parking lot on Tuesday, overwhelmed with grief as flowers piled up in their break room.
“It’s hard today,” she said. “I thought it would get better today. It’s not.”
Dozens of “rest in peace” and “heartfelt condolences” messages poured into the women’s Facebook sites.
Four passengers and driver Orville Brown survived Saturday night’s deadly inferno that erupted as the women headed into San Francisco to celebrate the nuptials of Neriza Fojas, who died in the blaze.
The cause of the fire, captured on camera as a blast of flames at the back of the white stretch limo, is under investigation.
Fojas, 31, and another victim Michelle Estrera, 35, were both nurses at Community Regional Medical Center in Fresno.
Victims Jennifer Balon, 39, a mother of two, and Anna Alcantara, 46, both worked at Fruitvale, while Felomina Geronga, 43, also a mother of two, had been working at Kaiser Permanente Medical Center in Oakland.