70 people evacuated after fire broke out at Singapore General Hospital due to overheated scanner

A total of 70 individuals, including patients and staff, were evacuated following a fire that broke out at Singapore General Hospital (SGH) on Monday afternoon (19 August).

It is said that the Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) responded to a fire at 1 Hospital Drive, at the basement 1 level of Block 2, at 1.50pm. It added that it was actually a small fire, which involved an electrical component, and had burnt itself before the arrival of the firefighters.

However, 70 individuals were cleared off the premises as a safety precaution.

“In view of the lingering smoke, as a safety precaution, SCDF evacuated about 70 persons from the premises. There were no reported injuries and the cause of the fire is under investigations,” SCDF said.

According to SGH’s Chief Operation Officer Tan Jack Thian, the evacuation process was done “purely for safety reasons and out of extreme caution”, adding that the hospital’s response team arrived at the site within minutes of the alarm going off.

He also pointed out that that the “preliminary investigations revealed that an electrical component inside a scanner has overheated and emitted smoke”.

The chief operating officer explained that affected scanner was immediately turned off, and emphasised that only minimal disruption to the hospital’s service occurred due to the fire.

Mr Tan noted that the hospital arranged for patients to have their scans done using other scanners in the department after the premises were cleared of smoke and SCDF had given the green light to re-enter.

If that is not all, SGH also made arrangements for a few patients to have their scans done another day.

“We apologise for the inconvenience caused by this incident,” Mr Tan said.

A patient who was at the premise during the incident told Chinese-language evening paper Shin Min Daily News that smoke filled the corridors, and people were only allowed to enter the building after about an hour.