Pro IQRA News Updates.
More than 200 patients were taken to various hospitals on Wednesday night after a fire at Wexford General Hospital.
The 280-bed hospital was evacuated and a “major emergency” was declared after the fire, which is now under control.
Pictures posted on social media showed smoke billowing from the building. The Department of Health, Safety and Environment said there were no injuries, but part of the roof collapsed in the fire.
Wexford Fire Service said it received an emergency call at around 3.45pm on Wednesday.
“Five fire devices, one elevated device and a water tanker were deployed at the site. It appears that the fire started in the factory room area of the hospital,” a statement from the fire service said.
In a statement on Wednesday night, Gardaí said the fire was now “under control” and that the fire service “will have an overnight hospital presence as a precaution.”
“There is significant water damage at the hospital. As a result, a full evacuation of WGH is currently underway. No injuries or incidents have been reported to patients or staff. Over 200 patients are being transported to a number of different hospitals,” the statement said.
“The National Ambulance Service is working with the hospital to treat patients and transport them to hospitals in Kilkenny, Cork and Dublin.”
Gardi said the hospital is coordinating with the relevant authorities to find the location and cause of the fire and assess the damage.
“We are asking the public not to come to the hospital and to stay away from the area. Anyone requiring emergency care in the Wexford area should attend the nearest Accident and Emergency Alternative Service,” they added. “A helpline will be set up for patients’ families and loved ones as soon as possible to deal with enquiries.”
It is understood that the crisis management team is now in place.
In a tweet, the National Ambulance Service said it had “multiple emergency vehicles assisting with the transport of patients at Wexford General Hospital at the moment. Please only contact us in the event of a real emergency.”
People have been advised to avoid the area if possible, and those who live in the area have been told to close their doors and windows.
Earlier, Wexford County Council’s Cathaoirleach, George Lawlor, said the local authority had offered large office space as emergency accommodation for patients, but they were likely to be sent to other hospitals in the area.
Speaking on RTÉ’s Drivetime programme, he said the fire appeared to be under control although there was a large amount of smoke in the area.
“It’s still going on but from what I believe [speaking to] “The source of the fire is under control,” said the Deputy Fire Chief, adding that there were no early reports of injuries. “The impact on the hospital is not yet known in terms of which services will be affected but, as I said, a number of wards are being evacuated as a precautionary measure.”
Ireland East Hospital Group said in a statement: “Wexford General Hospital can confirm there was a fire in the hospital today.
The hospital is coordinating with the relevant authorities.
Wexford County Council issued a tweet asking everyone to avoid the hospital area as a result of the fire.
“Anyone who lives in close proximity, close windows and doors and turn off all air ventilation.”
It was a “very serious incident”, Sinn Féin health spokesman David Cullinan said, adding that his “thoughts are with the patients and staff at Wexford General Hospital”.
“I would like to commend the emergency services who responded and gave my full support to the hospital management as they deal with this very difficult and challenging situation,” he said.
“Our main priority must be to support patients, their families and their staff and the safety of patients and staff must come first.” Additional PA reports