Singapore—An overheated scanner caused a fire to break out at Singapore General Hospital (SGH) on the afternoon of Monday, August 19.
Fortunately, no one was injured and the fire had burned itself out by the time the firefighters came to the hospital, although around 70 people, which included both patients and hospital staff, had been evacuated as a safety precaution because of the smoke from the fire.
The Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) responded to the fire at the hospital shortly before 2:00 pm on August 19. The fire was located at the basement 1 level of Block 2 on 1 Hospital Drive.
“In view of the lingering smoke, as a safety precaution, SCDF evacuated about 70 persons from the premises. There were no reported injuries and the cause of the fire is under investigation,” SCDF said.
It was reported that an electrical component inside a scanner had overheated.
According to Singapore General Hospital’s Chief Operating Officer Tan Jack Thian, the overheated component inside the scanner had started to emit smoke.
He added that the hospital staff carried out the evacuation “purely for safety reasons and out of extreme caution” and that “no one was in danger at any time.”
He also said that the hospital’s response unit arrived immediately, within minutes of the smoke emitted from the scanner.
Mr Tan said, “There was minimal disruption to our service….We apologise for the inconvenience caused by this incident.”
He added that the scanner unit was turned off right away and that the hospital used other scanners for patients needing them after the smoke had been cleared from the premises.
As needed, other scans had been rescheduled, Mr Tan added.
Around one hour after the initial fire, people were allowed to re-enter the building.
This is the second fire to have hit hospitals in Singapore in under a month. A fire in the early morning hours caused the evacuation of 60 staff members of the Mount Elizabeth Hospital in Orchard Road on July 28.
The Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) on its Facebook page said shortly after half-past six in the morning, it responded to a fire at 3 Mt Elizabeth Road.
Luckily, the fire was confined to only one office on Level 1 of Block C and required only one water jet to put it out.
The SCDF also reported that some sixty staff members were evacuated even before the SCDF arrived, and there were, fortunately, no injuries resulting from the incident.
It also added the cause of the fire was electrical in origin, according to Preliminary fire investigation by SCDF, but it was not started, however, by a charging Personal Mobility Device or Power-Assisted Bicycle, unlike some recent fires.
The number of fires due to PMDs being charged in apartments has grown markedly. In 2018, 74 fires were caused by charging PMDs, while the year before that, there had only been 49 such incidents.
The cause of many of these fires is poor quality or defective batteries./ TISG
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