Dora Nginza’s new emergency unit possibly rebuilt after fire

2016-10-05 06:00
ABOVE: The new emergency unit at the Dora Nginza hospital was set alight last Wednesday evening. What is left of the building after the fire.               PHotoS: WERNER HILLS

ABOVE: The new emergency unit at the Dora Nginza hospital was set alight last Wednesday evening. What is left of the building after the fire. PHotoS: WERNER HILLS

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A NEW emergency department that was under construction at the Dora Nginza Hospital in Port Elizabeth, will probably have to be rebuilt after fire damage.

The new wing at the hospital that serves, among others, New Brighton and Zwide, was set alight by angry residents last Wednesday.

According to Police spokesperson Captain André Beetge, locals had taken their grievances about the appointment of non-local workers to the building site of the new wing and set the wood framework of the unfinished building on fire.

Beetge said the fire quickly got out of control because of the strong winds that fanned the flames.

Siyanda Manana, provincial spokesperson for the Department of Health, visited the scene last Thursday. The building is part of a R99 million project which was estimated to be completed in the next 20 months.

“There is extensive damage and it seems that the work may have to be redone,” Manana said.

He said a meeting between the department and contractor would be called at a later stage and then a meeting with the local residents would also be held.

“The incident is shocking. The new building was intended to help the local residents, but now it seems to be them that are breaking down the building. Discussions should be held with the residents, and the police should prosecute those who are responsible.”

At the time of going to print, no one had been arrested for arson.

“It is also not clear how many people set the building on fire. Everyone dispersed quickly when the fire got out of control and had already gone when police and firefighters arrived at the scene,” said Beetge.

“The police are still investigating the incident.”

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