Pietermaritzburg - The MEC for health in KwaZulu-Natal, Nomagugu Simelane, in a statement on Tuesday commended the efforts and actions of security officers and staff at Durban's Addington Hospital who safely evacuated 84 patients, including 25 infants, during a fire that erupted about 8am.
Hospital management said that 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 to douse the fire using extinguishers.
"By then, strong clouds of smoke had begun spreading to the hospital’s wards on the 9th and 13th floors," the statement said.
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.