Jayapura, Jubi – The head of General Affairs and Public Relations of Abepura Regional General Hospital, Conny Tan, has confirmed that two patients died while being evacuated from the treatment room after a fire broke out in the hospital’s logistics warehouse on Tuesday, May 9, 2023.
Two patients named Kristina Mano and Yuli Elopere have died. They were being treated in the ICU room and the lung room respectively when the warehouse on the second floor caught fire. “Both patients were already in critical condition and unfortunately did not survive the incident,” Tan told reporters.
According to Tan, some of the inpatients were moved to the parking lot during the fire. She mentioned that the patients would be brought back to their original treatment rooms once the hospital was confirmed safe for them to do so.
“Heat and smoke are still present. We need to ensure that the fire is fully put out before we can bring back the patients to their respective rooms. We will only do so once the fire department has declared the area safe,” Tan explained.
Petrus Benyamin Pepuho, the Deputy Director of General and Finance at Abepura Hospital, stated that the medical equipment warehouse that caught fire also stored consumables, medical devices, and linen materials such as mattresses, fabrics, and blankets.
As many as 53 patients were evacuated from various rooms such as the pediatric ward, emergency room, ICU, surgery, neurology, lung, and male and female internal medicine rooms as the smoke entered through the air ventilator.
Jayapura City Fire chief Kirana suspected the fire was caused by an electrical short circuit. According to her, the fire spread quickly because Abepura Hospital had no fire management.
Kirana said the fire incident should serve as a reminder for all hospitals in Jayapura City to prioritize fire management. She also emphasized the importance of utilizing the special autonomy funds for health to improve fire safety measures in hospitals, which would not only protect patients but also the hospital infrastructure. She further added that collaboration with the Papua Provincial Government was necessary to install fire hydrants in hospitals since they were currently not available.
Papua Police deputy Brig. Gen. Ramdani Hidayat said his office deployed 50 police officers to help extinguish the fire and evacuate patients and health workers. He said the Papua Police would investigate the cause of the fire. “We are still investigating the cause of the fire,” he told reporters. (*)