Belfast Telegraph

Video: Investigation launched after Ambulance destroyed in fire

Newry residents heard explosion

By Michael Sheils McNamee

An ambulance has been destroyed in a blaze after catching fire outside a hospital in Newry.

The fire happened on Friday morning outside Daisy Hill Hospital. Residents in the area reported hearing an "explosion".

The vehicle was a private ambulance operated by ProParamedics.

In a statement on its Facebook page the company said: "Due to the rapid action of the crew the ambulance was placed to cause least damage and Northern Ireland Fire and Rescue Service arrived on scene very rapidly and extinguished the fire.

"No one was hurt. The vehicle is being recovered and the incident will be fully investigated. There is no break in our provision of assistance due to back-up vehicles. A big thank you to our emergency service colleagues."

It is understood the fire started due to an electrical fault in the engine, and escalated after an oxygen tank inside the ambulance exploded on the Hospital Road.

Speaking to the Belfast Telegraph, Ulster Unionist councillor Glenn Barr said: "Thankfully nobody was injured and thanks to the Fire and Rescue Service for their response.

"Hopefully the people involved were not too badly shaken and can get back to doing what they do best, serving the people of Newry."

Sinn Fein MP Mickey Brady for Newry and Armagh said: "Reports of an incident involving an ambulance at Daisy Hill Hospital Newry are very concerning. At present we hope that all staff involved are safe and the situation is brought under control as quickly as possible."

The Fire Service said it was called to the scene just after 9am.

"Firefighters were called to an incident involving an ambulance on fire," a spokeswoman said.

"The cause of the fire was accidental, started by an electrical fault within the engine.  An oxygen cylinder inside the ambulance was involved in the fire.  Firefighters wearing breathing apparatus quickly contained and extinguished the fire. There were no reports of any casualties."

A spokesman for the the Northern Ireland Ambulance Service said: "This morning there was a fire on an ambulance belonging to ProParamedics, a private contractor, within the grounds of Daisy Hill Hospital. We understand there was no patient onboard and the crew were able to get out of the vehicle safely. The NIFRS attended the scene and were able to extinguish the vehicle."

Ambulance caught fire after oxygen tank exploded at Daisy Hill Hospital in Newry city. Pic NewRayPics
Ambulance caught fire after oxygen tank exploded at Daisy Hill Hospital in Newry city. Pic NewRayPics
Ambulance caught fire after oxygen tank exploded at Daisy Hill Hospital in Newry city. Pic NewRayPics
The fire outside Daisy Hill Hospital in Newry / Credit: Glenn Barr

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