Sultan wants royal ward used, restoration work be done immediately: MB (Updated)

JOHOR BARU: The Sultan of Johor Sultan Ibrahim Almarhum Sultan Iskandar has instructed that the Royal Ward of the Sultanah Aminah Hospital (HSA) be used to treat patients following the fire incident at the hospital's Intensive Care Unit (ICU) today.

Johor Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Mohamed Khaled Nordin said Sultan Ibrahim had also ordered that restoration work at the hospital be carried out immediately.

"He also asked for a full report on the fire incident at the ICU which cost the lives of six people," he told reporters at HSA here.

The Royal Ward is located on the fourth floor of the east wing of the HSA building, while the ICU is located on the third floor of the south wing.

Earlier, Mohamed Khaled accompanied by Sultan Ibrahim and Raja Permaisuri of Johor Raja Zarith Sofiah Almarhum Sultan Idris Shah on a visit to the hospital right after the incident occurred.

Sultan Ibrahim and Raja Zarith Sofia, who arrived at the hospital at about 12.40pm, were briefed by Johor Health director Dr Hajah Rooshaimi Merican before the royal couple were taken to see the location affected by the fire.

Accompanying the royal couple in their 30-minute visit were Mohamed Khaled, his wife Datin Seri Rosni Omar and state executive council members.

Meanwhile, Mohamed Khaled described the tragedy as a lesson to all parties that accidents could happen anywhere.

He also said there are things that could be learnt from the incident to prevent it from happening in future.

"Based on a briefing by the Fire Department, the victims had been using breathing apparatus and because of that, they were either not able to move or were unconscious. Maybe that could be the reason (for their deaths)," he said.

Mohamed Khaled said the state government had given full credence to the Fire and Rescue Department to conduct its investigations.

At the same time, he also informed that the Fire Department had cordoned off the affected building block, while other buildingS had been declared safe.

Mohamed Khaled announced that the Johor Islamic Religious Council (MAINJ) would contribute RM100,000 to assist the victims and their next-of-kin.

In the 8.56am incident, the fire claimed the lives of six patients at the ICU comprising four women and two men. They were among the seven patients in the ICU.

Another patient was rescued by firefighters and is now being treated at the hospital.

Two HSA staff were sent to Sultan Ismail Hospital for treatment while another staff is still receiving treatment at HSA due to smoke inhalation.

The firefighting and rescue operations which started at 9.05am were over at 11.25am. — Bernama