Fire Operations South Africa says there were no working fire hydrants at Charlotte Maxeke Academic Hospital
Fire Operations South Africa says there were no working fire hydrants at Charlotte Maxeke Academic Hospital in Johannesburg.
A fire broke out at the hospital's special dispensary store on Friday and spread to other parts of the hospital.
The National Education, Health and Allied Workers’ Union (Nehawu) and the Democratic Alliance (DA) in Gauteng have called for an immediate investigation into the blaze.
Fire Operations SA's CEO Wynand Engelbrecht has described the hospital’s emergency plan as poor.
"It is indeed true that the hospital doesn't or didn't have any emergency plan and secondly, the water situation was poor on the hospital campus underground and parking bay floors.
"All the hydrants were compromised, they were either broken and couldn't get accessed or didn't had water. The Johannesburg Fire Department had to ferry water with the vehicle during the early stages of the fire operation, they had to drive up and down with their vehicles to fetch water and bring it, and that of course resulted in the fire flaring from time to time."
Patients had to be evacuated and moved to various hospitals in the province, including Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital.
Engelbrecht says government must account for the poor state of the hospital.
"In the first instance, the owner of the building is responsible for the life safety in that building and that is according to the national building regulations.
"Yes, we would make recommendations and I am in fact compiling a memorandum to three ministers namely, the minister of health, public works, and co-operative governance to explain the poor situation of fire protection in the hospital in general and that hospital is not in a condition to accommodate patients at all."
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