The Chairman of the Western Trust, Gerard Guckian, has praised the way in which the emergency services reacted to a fire at Atlnagelvin Hospital tonight.
It is believed that the fire started on the roof of the hospital and as a result seven wards had to be evacuated.
Mr. Guckian confirmed that whilst the vast majority of those affected were transferred to units within the grounds of Altnagelvin Hospital, one group of patients had to be transferred to a unit in another part of the city whilst one patient was taken to the South West Acute Hospital in Enniskillen.
“As Chair of the Trust I would like to commend our colleagues in Northern Ireland Fire and Rescue Service, the PSNI and the Ambulance Service because this is something that we have planned for over the years,” he said.
“The staff who have come in tonight have been exemplary in their efforts and we nearly had to keep some of them away from the site because so many of them wanted to come in and help.
“We can say that all of the wards concerned have all been accommodated and the vast majority of those affected have been accommodated on the Altnagelvin site. One section of people have been accommodated in another Trust facility within the Derry city area and we can say that one patient has been relocated to the South West Acute Hospital because that’s the area they are from.
Mr. Guckian said that initial reports suggested that the fire resulted in a water tank bursting and said that the vast majority of the damage to the hospital was caused by water.
“The Trust is reassuring the public that there have been no injuries and the situation is under control,” he said.
“The Police Service of Northern Ireland, the Northern Ireland Fire and Rescue Service and the Northern Ireland Ambulance Service were on site and have been on site assisting with the evacuation of a number of wards. The evacuation was facilitated by Translink.
“We should say that the fire, we believe is under control, and we believe that the damage sustained is down to water damage to the electrics and our main focus was the safety of all our patients the whole time.
“But I want to stress to everyone that every patient affected is being looked after tonight and we will update their families on their welfare as and when it is necessary.”