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Two CHK wards closed after fire

KARACHI, Aug 10: The neurosurgery and the eye departments/wards of the Civil Hospital Karachi have been closed for an indefinite period after a fire broke out on Friday afternoon that was said to be caused by a short circuit.

A spokesperson for the hospital said that about 15 patients were admitted to the two departments located on the premises of the Sindh Government Services Hospital, who were safely evacuated and shifted to other wards immediately.

All staff concerned also remained unhurt, but the two departments were badly affected in the incident.

The spokesperson said that the fire originated in the main electric room of the Services Hospital.

The spokesperson added that after the fire the Civil Hospital was not in the position to deal with patients seeking neurosurgical and ophthalmologic interventions until restoration of the affected departments.

According to an eyewitness, the smoke filled the two departments and consequentially about 15 patients admitted there had to be moved to safety.

The operating theatres had also been affected in the fire and could not be used, the witness said.

A majority of patients who had to be moved on an emergency basis belonged to the neurosurgery department.

Following the news of the incident, officers and staffs from other departments rushed to the site and the KESC and the fire brigade teams were also called in to control the fire.

The patients admitted to the ophthalmology department left for their houses and about a dozen patients admitted to the neurosurgery department were shifted to the medical and the surgical intensive care units and two medical wards of the Civil Hospital.

Replying to a question about the nature of the fire and cost of damages, the CHK spokesperson said that a team of engineers and other officials would undertake a survey in this regard soon.

A senior official of the CHK told Dawn that the Civil Hospital in the meantime had written letters to the Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Centre and the Abbasi Shaheed Hospital to provide medical facilities to the patients referred by it till the repair of the two affected wards.

A spokesperson for the provincial health department said that Sindh Health Minister Dr Sagheer Ahmed had ordered an inquiry into the fire incident and asked special health secretary Dr Suresh Kumar to launch a probe and furnish a report within two days.