Power re­stored af­ter fire at Life Hil­ton pri­vate hospi­tal


LIFE Hil­ton Hospi­tal is ex­pect­ing to be fully op­er­a­tional again by the end of the week af­ter a fire on Satur­day.

The hospi­tal’s main elec­tric­ity dis­tri­bu­tion board caught alight in the early hours of Satur­day morn­ing, cut­ting off power to the fa­cil­ity. Seven­teen pa­tients from the In­ten­sive Care Unit (ICU) were trans­ferred to var­i­ous Pi­eter­mar­itzburg and Dur­ban hos­pi­tals as a re­sult of the “com­pro­mised elec­tri­cal sup­ply”.

Speak­ing to The Wit­ness yes­ter­day, Life Hil­ton pri­vate hospi­tal gen­eral man­ager Ni­cholas Thorne said emer­gency and es­ sen­tial elec­tric­ity had been re­stored be­fore mid­night on Satur­day af­ter the fire. Life Health­care’s en­gi­neers have been work­ing around the clock to re­place the dam­aged dis­tri­bu­tion board.

Thorne said man­age­ment had taken the de­ci­sion not to ad­mit any pa­tients to the hospi­tal un­til they were 100% sat­is­fied that ev­ery­thing was in work­ing or­der and had been tested.

Thorne said the in­ci­dent had not im­pacted on pa­tient care or com­pro­mised any pa­tients’ well be­ing.

The cause of the fire was still un­der in­ves­ti­ga­tion but the hospi­tal wanted to “crit­i­cally as­sess what tran­spired”. There was “a lot to be learnt” from the in­ci­dent and it would serve as valu­able in­sight for the group. He added that the re­place­ment dis­tri­bu­tion board, which are usu­ally man­u­fac­tured over six weeks, had been man­u­fac­tured for the hospi­tal within three days and the en­gi­neers and staff had been “phe­nom­e­nal”.

“It is re­mark­able what we have achieved and it is the team work that re­ally stands out,” said Thorne. “ER24 was phe­nom­e­nal when re­spond­ing to our call to trans­fer pa­tients. They had 10 am­bu­lances out to as­sist us and Net­care and Mid­lands EMS also had am­bu­lances on scene to help with trans­fers.” He added that the hospi­tal was ex­pected to be fully func­tional again by to­mor­row.


Hil­ton Life hospi­tal gen­eral man­ager Ni­cholas Thorne points out the dam­aged elec­tric­ity dis­tri­bu­tion board.

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