Two Limpopo patients die after fire breaks out in hospital’s Covid-19 ward

Two Limpopo patients die after fire breaks out in hospital’s Covid-19 ward


Johannesburg – Two patients died when a fire broke out in one of the cubicles of the Covid-19 ward of the FH Odendaal Hospital in Modimolle, Limpopo.

One of the deceased was an inmate serving a life sentence for rape.

Health MEC Dr Phophi Ramathuba said the cubicle burnt down on Tuesday morning.

Investigations are under way to determine the cause of the fire.

Ramathuba said nurses evacuated the patients to safety when the fire started and that they tried to put it out before firefighters arrived.

Unfortunately, she said, they could not not save all the patients.

“One was critically ill and was admitted when he was semi-conscious the previous night. They were trying to stabilise him in case they had to refer him.

“Another patient was an inmate who was also very ill. It’s quite sad that while were tried to rescue and save all the patients, we could not save the lives of these two.

“We would like to send our deepest condolences to their families,” she said.

The Department of Correctional Services’s Singabakho Nxumalo confirmed that the inmate died due to due to smoke inhalation.

“The 61-year-old inmate serving a life sentenced at Modimolle Correctional Centre was admitted in one of the hospitals in Limpopo when his ward caught fire.

“The department has dispatched social workers to inform the family of the inmate,” he said.

This is the third hospital to go up in flames in the past few months.

Last month, Charlotte Maxeke Academic Hospital was shut and patients were transferred to other hospitals in the province after a fire broke at a storage facility.

Personal protective equipment and other medical essentials valued at about R40 million were lost in the blaze.

In February, a fire that broke out at the Carletonville Hospital destroyed personal protective equipment and other medical equipment estimated to be worth more than R23m.


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