Arab News – A comprehensive survey of all health facilities will be carried out to build a high level of confidence and trust and avoid recurrence of incidents like the Jazan hospital fire, Health Minister Khalid Al-Falih has said.
A total of 24 people died and 123 were injured when a massive fire engulfed the Jazan General Hospital on Thursday.
The ministry will make sure that safety plans are implemented and the employees of hospitals are trained in safety measures, Al-Falih was quoted as saying by local media.
The minister conveyed the condolences of Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman and the crown prince and deputy crown prince to the families of those who died in the fire.
He visited the hospital and was apprised of the damage due to the incident.
He was also informed about the efforts made by the directorate general of health affairs and Civil Defense in rescuing people and extinguishing the fire.
The ministry will continue to provide services to the patients in Jazan through other hospitals in the area, he said, adding that the hospital will be repaired and reopened only after making sure that it can deal with emergencies and such incidents are never repeated.
Meanwhile, the committee, which was formed on the directive of Jazan Gov. Mohammad bin Nasser, to investigate the cause of the fire and suggest ways to prevent such incidents in the future, is expected to submit its report soon.
A source in the committee said the blaze spread quickly because of the foam insulation and oxygen pipes in the ceiling.
“The space between them and the ceiling is about a meter, and that led to the spread of smoke through the air conditioning vents, causing the deaths of 24 people and injuries to 123 due to smoke inhalation.”
The Jazan governor visited the injured in Al-Omais and Al-Hayat hospitals on Friday. “We are working together to solve all accidents in the public and private facilities,” he said, adding: “There are many reasons and we don’t want to be too quick in making a judgment, and must wait for the results of the committee.”
Another incident of fire in a medical complex in Dammam on Friday morning triggered panic among patients and staff as memories of the Jazan hospital fire are still fresh in the minds of people.
The security and safety systems, however, were pressed into services quickly and the fire was brought under control. Four people complained about difficulty in breathing.