30 evacuated after thermometer breaks


Man in white: A Hazmat team member getting ready to clean up the mercury spill at the cardiology ward in Penang Hospital.

Man in white: A Hazmat team member getting ready to clean up the mercury spill at the cardiology ward in Penang Hospital.

GEORGE TOWN: Some 20 patients and 10 nurses were evacuated after a thermometer filled with mercury broke at the Penang Hospital’s cardiology ward.

Perak Road fire station operation commander Kamarul Ariffin Abd Ghani said they received a distress call from the hospital at 11.50am yesterday and a Hazmat (hazardous materials) team together with firemen were deployed to the scene.

“When we arrived, the patients and nurses were already a distance from where a thermometer broke.

“The hazardous mercury was cleared up within 30 minutes,” he said at the scene.

Penang Hospital Visitors Board chairman Lim Thoon Deong said the hospital had a team to handle minor spillage but they still called the Fire and Rescue Department as a precaution.

“The thermometer broke after being dropped on the floor at the reception counter of the cardiology ward.

“No one was hurt in this incident,” he said.

Lim said the patients and nurses were evacuated while the mercury was being cleared up.

“The patients went back to the ward after two hours.

“An internal investigation has been carried out to prevent such a thing from happening again,” he added.

Courts Crime , hospital , mercury , Lim Thoon Deong