KUCHING: A construction worker died after a fire broke out at a clinical research centre (CRC) block of Sarawak General Hospital (SGH) here.
Teguh Praytino, 35, from Indonesia, is believed to have died owing to smoke inhalation and his body was badly burnt by the fire, which started around 5pm yesterday.
Three of the workers who were in the midst of a welding work managed to escape, but Teguh was trapped in the building, said Kuching Police Chief ACP Roslan Bek Ahmad.
The Fire and Rescue Department (Bomba) team recovered the body on the first floor of the building, which was still under construction.
When met at the scene, state Bomba director Nor Hishamuddin Mohamad told reporters that the sprinkler system of the building had helped to stop the fire from spreading.
He added that the incident could have been caused by sparks from welding works, which then had caught on some flammable construction materials. However, he said further investigation would be conducted.
More than 150 patients from all nine wards of SGH were evacuated from the hospital’s building and gathered at the tennis court for fear of toxic smoke inhalation.
No other injuries were reported.
Meanwhile a statement from visiting senior consultant cardiologist of SGH, Dr Sim Kui Hian, yesterday said the block was the first of such early phase facilities in Malaysia and it was supposed to be handed over in September last year but was delayed till now.
“The foundation stone was laid by former Health director-general Tan Sri Dr Ismail Merican in 2010 while I was inaugurated as head of the CRC.
“Most of the research equipment are being temporarily housed at the CRC of Sarawak Heart Speacialist Centre (near Kota Samarahan),” he said, praising the Bomba for a job well done.
“There will be some delays but we are looking forward to opening the research block soon,” Dr Sim said, expressing his grief over the loss of the worker’s life in yesterday’s incident.