Johannesburg – Health Minister Zweli Mkhize has conveyed his condolences to the families of two patients who lost their lives during the FH Odendaal Hospital fire in Limpopo on Tuesday.
Authorities were still investigating the cause of the fire. This is the third hospital fire to engulf a South African hospital after a blaze destroys millions worth of PPE supplies at the Charlotte Maxeka Hospital in Johannesburg last month.
“We were deeply saddened to learn of the death of two patients following a fire that broke out at the FH Odendaal Hospital COVID-19 Ward.
“We convey our sincerest condolences to the families who have suffered this devastating loss, while they must have still hoped to see their loved ones returned to them from hospital.
“I commend the nurses who extinguished the fire and rescued the patients inside the wards. We share in your pain in having experienced the loss of two patients but we also pay homage to your heroism as you kept your oath and protected your patients,” said Mkhize.
He said they welcomed the investigation which was expected to outline what was the cause of the inferno.
“We welcome the investigation into the circumstances surrounding this terrible incident and encourage the team of fire experts from SAPS, and forensic pathology from Health to bring us to a speedy resolution of this impasse,” said Mkhize.
Earlier, IOL reported that one of the two who died in the fire was an inmate serving a life sentence for rape.
Limpopo Health MEC Dr Phophi Ramathuba said the cubicle burnt down on Tuesday morning.
Ramathuba said the other patient was a critically ill patient who was admitted when he was semi-conscious the previous night.
The Department of Correctional Services’s Singabakho Nxumalo confirmed that the inmate died due to due to smoke inhalation.