Bristol Royal Infirmary hospital ‘evacuated’ as critical incident declared

Bristol Royal Infirmary declares a critical incident after a power outage on Friday afternoon.

Jane Dalton
Friday 03 May 2024 23:34 BST
Firefighters were called to the Bristol Royal Infirmary after a critical incident was declared
Firefighters were called to the Bristol Royal Infirmary after a critical incident was declared (Supplied)

The main hospital in Bristol was evacuated, witnesses said, after a power cut caused what was described as a “critical incident” on Friday afternoon.

One person there said at least three fire engines rushed to the Bristol Royal Infirmary, in Upper Maudlin Street, shortly after 3pm.

Police officers on horseback were seen asking people to leave the area.

University Hospitals Bristol and Weston NHS (UHBW) wrote on social media: “We have declared an internal critical incident due to a power outage affecting a number of our hospitals in Bristol city centre.

“We are asking the public not to attend our hospitals until the incident is resolved. Please use alternative services in the area.”

Avon and Somerset Police said it was supporting Avon Fire and Rescue Service with “an ongoing incident” believed to be caused by an electrical fault at the Bristol Royal Infirmary.

“Officers arrived on scene within 10 minutes and are supporting the fire service with road closures,” the force said. “The mounted section and drone units are among our resources in attendance.”

Several roads closed for a time, including Lower Maudlin Street, Upper Maudlin Street, Malborough Street, Jamaica Street, St Michael’s Hill and Colston Hill, but later all reopened except for Upper Maudlin Street for inbound traffic.

An emergency backup generator arrived at the hospital with a police escort, city website Bristol Live reported. Technicians were seen working quickly to attach the new generator.

Shortly after 9pm, the hospital said its emergency department for adults had reopened.

Dr Rebecca Maxwell, interim chief nedical officer at UHBW said: “Our adult Emergency Department is now open to urgent walk-in patients. Our children’s emergency department remains open to both ambulances and walk-in patients.

“Some of our sites continue to be impacted by the power outage and we are working to resolve the situation as quickly as possible. Thank you for your patience.”

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