JOHOR BARU (THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK, AFP) - Johor’s Sultanah Aminah Hospital evacuated its staff and patients after smoke was reported at the hospital’s operation theatre on Wednesday (Oct 26) afternoon.
The incident came a day after a fire killed six people in the hospital’s intensive care unit. The causes of both fires remain under investigation.
Wednesday’s incident caused smoke to emit in the threatre, forcing staff and patients to evacuate. But the staff at the hospital were able to prevent a fire from breaking out.
The smoke was due to a spark caused by a plug point that was exposed to water in the operating theatre, police said.
Johor Baru (South) OCPD Asst Comm Sulaiman Salleh said police had to shut down certain sections of the main building since the fire on Tuesday.
"The spark occurred at around 1.50pm when water from cleaning works on the second floor splashed into a plug point in the operation room on the first floor.
"The spark caused smoke to emit but no one was injured due to the quick action of hospital staff,” he told reporters.
ACP Sulaiman said the operating threatre is under renovation.
"We have closed down the main building for 24 hours due to security reasons," he said.
Some of the patients evacuated Wednesday were in wheelchairs or their beds, while some medical workers were still in their hospital scrubs.
According to a volunteer, smoke was coming out of the operating theatre located on the first floor of the ward.
A fire engine was seen entering the hospital ground and security personnel asked hospital staff, patients, and public to leave the area immediately.
The fire on Tuesday took firefighters two hours to put out. Early investigations showed it was caused by faulty wiring that led to a short circuit on the third floor of the hospital.
Local reports also said three hospital staff were in critical condition from smoke inhalation and burns.
Following Tuesday’s fire, authorities have ordered safety checks at health facilities nationwide.
The Sultanah Aminah Hospital is one of Malaysia's busiest with 294 patients and 193 employees.