A fire ripped through a hospital in Saudi Arabia, killing at least 24 people and injuring 123, according to the health ministry. The blaze broke out in the intensive care unit and the maternity department of the Jazan General Hospital in the Kingdom’s south, the civil defense agency said on Twitter.
The health minister, Khalid Al-Falih, speaking on Saudi TV revised down an earlier count of the dead saying “22 patients and 2 believed to be health workers.”
Patients have been evacuated to nearby hospitals including, King Fahad Hospital. The health ministry said in a statement that all casualties were as a result of smoke inhalation. The ministry also confirmed one person died in ICU and none in the pediatric section. A health ministry spokesman confirmed to Arab News there were 8 critical cases among the injured. 57 patients have already been discharged from hospital.
Prince Mohammed bin Nasr, Governor of Jazan, has visited the 150-bed hospital and inspected the damage. He has ordered an immediate investigation.
The civil defense said they received a call about the fire around 2am and twenty-one teams assisted in putting out the blaze. The hospital was in the headlines in 2013 after four officials were sacked in connection with a case of a 12-year-old girl who was given a HIV-contaminated blood transfusion.
In August, 10 people were killed and 259 wounded in a fire at a residential complex rented by Saudi Aramco in the Eastern Province.
(Courtesy- ARAB NEWS)