Deadly hospital fire caused damage of millions

2012-06-23 07:35

The damage caused by a fire at the Free State Psychiatric Hospital, which claimed the life of a patient, is estimated to be R7 million.

Elke de Witt, spokesperson for the Free State department of health, said the fire started Thursday night in the neuro ward and a permanent patient, Hendrik Dichabe (63) died as a result.

She said Dichabe had been staying at the hospital for the past 10 years.

Another patient, who sustained injuries was in a critical but stable condition in the Pelonomi Hospital in Bloemfontein.

De Witt said a total of 24 patients and two staff members were evacuated from the burning ward.

When the fire services from the Mangaung Metro arrived on the scene, a second sweep of the building was done and Dichabe’s body was found in his room.

“Management of the institution provided housing and care of the displaced patients in other wards of the hospital and both patients and staff involved in the incident are receiving counselling services”, said De Witt.

She said the cause of the fire was unknown and police were investigating the incident.

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