Chile hospital fire forces evacuation of 350 patients including some with Covid

No injuries reported after blaze in boiler room of San Borja hospital in Santiago

Peter Stubley
Saturday 30 January 2021 16:37
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Video: Smoke billows from the San Borja Hospital in Chile

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Hundreds of people including Covid-19 patients on ventilators had to be evacuated from a hospital in Chile after a fire broke out in a boiler room.

Smoke billowed out of the San Borja building in Santiago as emergency crews battled to put out the blaze on Saturday morning.

Health authorities said all 350 patients were being taken to other hospitals. No injuries were reported.

Images from the scene showed medical staff wheeling out patient, including some on ventilators.

Some of those evacuated were child patients from the paediatric unit.

A patient is evacuated from the San Borja Hospital in Santiago

“Nobody has died,” said Health Minister Enrique Paris. "All of the transfers have occurred with great calm.

"That is thanks to the officials who were involved in this process."

Around 300 firefighters, 40 fire engines and emergency vehicles attended the scene after the alert was raised at around 7am.

Firefighters said they had brought the blaze under control later that morning.

Firefighters tackle the blaze which started in a boiler room

“The fire did not affect any sector with patients, but the boiler area, electrical installations and other hospital services were affected,” the health ministry said in a statement.

"Patients will be transferred to the Barros Luco Hospital, the Metropolitan Hospital, the Mother and Child Clinic and the Juan Pablo II Clinic.

Officials said the fire could have been caused by an electrical short circuit.

Additional reporting by agencies

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