JOHOR BARU: Six patients have been killed in a fire that broke out at the intensive care unit (ICU) of the Sultanah Aminah Hospital here.
Hundreds of patients were evacuated to other wards after the fire broke out at 9am, Tuesday.
The Fire and Rescue Department confirmed in a tweet that seven people had been trapped in the building, and that six of those had perished in the blaze.
One person was successfully rescued.
Of the victims, four were female and two were male.
Johor Baru (South) OCPD Asst Comm Sulaiman Salleh said all the victims were in their 50s.
“We believe that all the victims died due to suffocation caused by the thick smoke in the ward,” he said when met at the scene here.
Asst Comm Sulaiman said that there were 193 staff and 294 patients at the hospital at the time of the incident.
He said there were eight staff and seven patients in the ICU when the fire broke out.
The one person rescued suffered 80% burns on his body.
It is understood that patients in the maternity ward, including some who had just given birth, were evacuated safely.
Johor Fire and Rescue Department director Othman Abdullah said that the department received a distress call at 8.56am.
“We deployed 10 fire engines with 160 personnel from Johor Baru, Tebrau, Kulai, and Johor Jaya fire stations to the scene.“The fire affected two floors of the main HSA building but we managed to stop it from spreading to other floors,” he said.