Addington Hospital fire: KZN Health MEC Ms Nomagugu Simelane-Zulu heaps praise on security, emergency and hospital staff for the safe evacuation of 84 patients, including 25 newborn babies and nine children

02 July 2019

KwaZulu-Natal Health MEC Ms Nomagugu Simelane has thanked security officers and staff at Durban's Addington Hospital for the safe evacuation of 84 patients – including 25 infants - during a mysterious fire that erupted this morning.

According to hospital management the fire broke out in the fire escape area on the 7th floor, just after 8am. Nurses immediately alerted security personnel who leapt into action and started trying to douse the fire using fire extinguishers. By then, strong clouds of smoke had begun spreading to the hospital’s wards on the 9th and 13th floors.

While fire fighters from eThekwini Municipality had been summoned for help and were on their way to the scene, hospital management started implementing the facility’s emergency evacuation plan.

No fewer than 25 mothers and their newborn babies; nine children in the children’s ward on the 13th floor; and 20 patients who needed gynaecology services, had to be evacuated due to the strong smoke.

There were no injuries during the incident. The cause of the fire is unknown and will be determined by the eThekwini Fire and Emergencies Department.

Reacting to the fire incident, KZN Health MEC Ms Nomagugu Simelane-Zulu said: “We would like to thank our security personnel, hospital staff and management, as well as eThekwini Fire and Emergency services for the manner in which they responded to this emergency. We are grateful for their collective efforts in saving lives, and that damage to property is minimal".

“We will follow-up on the progress of investigation, and if there is any evidence of foul play, the law will have to take its course.”

The MEC added that challenges regarding the functioning of the lifts at Addington Hospital are being dealt with. This morning's fire took place near a lift that is used for refuse removal, which was not operational at the time, and was due for repairs. Regrettably, the lift has now suffered more damage due to the seepage of water during the fire extinguishing process. Plans to repair the lift will have to be shelved until the level of water damage has been fully ascertained.

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This page last edited on 02 July, 2019

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