Altnagelvin Hospital fire: Call for full investigation

Emergency services attend a fire at Altnagelvin Hospital. (2411Sl11) Photo: Stephen Latimer

Emergency services attend a fire at Altnagelvin Hospital. (2411Sl11) Photo: Stephen Latimer

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Foyle SDLP MLA Pat Ramsey has called on the Minister for Health to visit Altnagelvin Hospital following a major incident there tonight.

Seven wards - 120 patients in total - were evacuated as a full scale action plan was put into operation following a fire which resulted in a water tank bursting on the roof of the ten-storey hospital.

SDLP's Pat Ramsey.  (1005JB04)

SDLP's Pat Ramsey. (1005JB04)

Mr Ramsey who was at the scene tonight said it was vital that the Health Minister, Edwin Poots visit the hospital and instigate a full investigation, adding that he was aware that the Western Health and Social Care Trust have been raising concerns regarding the Tower Block where the fire occurred.

Speaking to the Derry Journal tonight, Mr Ramsey said: “Remarkable work was carried out by the emergency staff tonight; the professionalism shown was remarkable. They have rehearsed for a situation like this, but in reality you couldn’t rehearse fully for something like this. A full scale action plan was put in place and thankfully there were no injuries or fatalities.”

He said that what is needed now is for the Minister for Health to visit the hospital and inspect the Tower Block where the fire broke out.

Seven wards were evacuated including patients in gynaecology, orthopaedics and general medicine wards.

Mr Ramsey said he understood that more than 120 patients were evacuated but the majority of them were relocated to beds within the Altnagelvin Estate.