Aexhibits collected over at least three decades were lost following a breakdown in a cold room at the Karolinska Institute, in Sweden, during the Christmas holidays.

“It happened at possibly the worst moment imaginable in Sweden, just one day before Christmas Eve”, detailed the rector of the prestigious Swedish Medical University and home of the Nobel Assembly, on Monday, cited by the AFP agency.

The incident, which resulted in the loss of samples worth 43 million euros, was reported to the authorities, according to the same outlet.

The samples were stored in refrigerated tanks with liquid nitrogen at a temperature of -190C. It turns out that, between the 22nd and 23rd of December, there was an interruption in the supply of 16 tanks, which did not receive liquid nitrogen for five days. According to AFP, the tanks could go just four days without receiving cryogenic gas.

“Those most affected are those who investigate leukemia, as they have collected samples from patients over 30 years”, said Sällberg, who added that, at the moment, “there is no indication that the failure was due to external influence”.

In addition to the police complaint, the institution launched an investigation into the incident.

It should be noted that the samples would all be used in studies, meaning that care for current patients was not compromised.

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