Ramathuba disputes reports that smoking warder caused hospital fire

Ramathuba disputes reports that 'smoking warder' caused hospital fire

Limpopo Health MEC Dr Phophi Ramathuba has disputed reports that the fire at FH Odendaal hospital in Modimolle was caused by a cigarette.

phophi fire
Facebook/LimpopoHealth (Bophelong)

Ramathuba said  a team of investigators should be given an opportunity to complete the investigation.

Two patients died after a fire broke out at the hospital’s Covid-19 ward on Monday evening.

Two others had to be rescued.

“Up to so far, we don’t know what the cause of the fire could’ve been, there are many speculations which we do not want to dwell on,” said Ramathuba.

“We want to give a team of investigators an opportunity to be able to investigate and will be able to tell us what could’ve been the cause of the fire, but the preliminary investigation report with the current team that is currently on scene with me is that a fire broke out from within the ward.

“It could’ve been caused by somebody else but they still need to do there through investigation.

“There are also other speculation and other allegations by those who  have been in the ward that some warder was trying to smoke, but we don’t have any information on that. We are still waiting for an investigation.”

Listen to Dr Phophi Ramathuba below:

Ramathuba confirmed that one of the deceased patients was a prisoner.

“We lost two patients, they tried to resuscitate them. These are the patients who were severely ill, some had other comorbidities. We will be conducting an autopsy and we will be able to establish whether it is a result of smoke inhalation,” she said.

Meanwhile, the  Democratic Alliance (DA) in Limpopo has called for a thorough investigation into the cause of the fire.

“It is critical for the Limpopo Department of Health and MEC Phophi Ramathuba to launch an immediate investigation into the cause of the fire and to assess the extent of the damage.

An incident like this raises issues around the hospital's compliance with the prescribed norms and standards of the Office of Health Standards Compliance (OHSC) and whether this fire was caused by human error or if it was caused by faulty electrical installations or machinery and if there were functioning fire extinguishers in the facility,” says DA Limpopo Spokesperson for Health Risham Maharaj.

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