Johannesburg – Two patients died when a fire broke out in one of the cabins in the Covid-19 ward at FH Odendaal Hospital in Modimolle, Limpopo.
One of the deceased was an inmate serving a life sentence for rape.
Health MEC’s Dr Phophi Ramathuba said the cabin burned down on Tuesday morning.
Investigations are underway to determine the cause of the fire.
Ramathuba said nurses evacuated patients to safety when the fire broke out and tried to put it out before firefighters arrived.
Unfortunately, she said, they couldn’t save all of the patients.
“One was seriously ill and was admitted half-conscious the night before. They were trying to stabilize him in case they had to refer him.
“Another patient was an inmate who was also very ill. It’s pretty sad that while we tried to save and save all the patients, we couldn’t save the lives of these two.
“We wish to extend our deepest condolences to their families,” she said.
Singabakho Nxumalo of the Corrections Department confirmed that the inmate died from smoke inhalation.
“The 61-year-old inmate sentenced to life in Modimolle Correctional Center was admitted to one of the Limpopo hospitals when his ward caught fire.
“The department dispatched social workers to inform the detainee’s family,” he said.
It is the third hospital to ignite in recent months.
Last month, Charlotte Maxeke University Hospital was closed and patients were transferred to other hospitals in the province after a fire broke out at a storage facility.
Personal protective equipment and other essential medical items valued at around R40 million were lost in the blaze.
In February, a fire at Carletonville hospital destroyed personal protective equipment and other medical equipment estimated at more than R 23 million.
Two Limpopo patients die after fire breaks out in hospital’s Covid-19 ward
SourceTwo Limpopo patients die after fire breaks out in hospital’s Covid-19 ward