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A large police contingent has been deployed to Westville Hospital in Durban after unconfirmed reports of a hostage situation.
A Sapa reporter on scene said police snipers had positioned themselves at points surrounding the hospital's kitchen, where a man was holding two women hostage.
Officials on the scene, who did not want to be named, said it was believed that one of the hostages was injured.
Meanwhile, SABC radio news reported that there were three hostages.
The man was believed to be a former patient who allegedly fired several shots at a doctor earlier.
The doctor fled the scene.
A witness, who is a patient at the hospital, told Sapa he was lying in bed when the commotion began.
Mark House said he heard three gunshots and moments later, a woman stormed into his ward and tried to hide behind him.
“She was apologising to me, because she chose my room, because she feared this guy was looking for her,” he said.
Police officers entered the room and evacuated them from the scene.
Police spokesman Lt-Col Vincent Mdunge was not able to confirm the reports. He said he would provide accurate information once he had it.
ER24 spokesman Derrick Banks could not immediately be reached for comment.
A media briefing was due to be held at the hospital shortly. - Sapa