Belfast Telegraph

Hospital wards reopen after blaze

Five of seven wards evacuated during a blaze at a major hospital in Northern Ireland have been reopened, health chiefs said.

However, dozens of operations have been cancelled since the fire was discovered on the roof of Londonderry's 11-storey Altnagelvin Hospital on Friday evening.

Around 120 patients had to be rushed to safety.

The Western Trust, which runs the hospital, said just two wards remain shut, while the other affected wards have returned to normal.

Patients who were being cared for in the closed wards are being treated in other areas of the hospital.

So far, 33 operations scheduled to take place on Monday have been cancelled. Surgery was also postponed on Saturday.

Affected patients will be contacted directly by hospital staff, said a Western Trust spokesman. "Some planned surgery will go ahead," he added.

Emergency services are continuing to operate as usual while normal visiting arrangements have been restored.

Health Minister Edwin Poots on Saturday said it was a huge relief no-one was hurt in the outbreak. Visiting the scene, he offered his sympathy to all those whose recovery was disrupted by the fire.

Almost 50 firefighters in 11 appliances battled the blaze which broke out at about 6.20pm.


From Belfast Telegraph