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Investigation In Full Gear To Determine Cause Of HSA Blaze

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JOHOR BAHRU – As investigations into the cause of yesterday’s fire at the Sultanah Aminah Hospital’s (HSA) intensive care unit (ICU) went into full gear this morning, the Johor Bahru Fire and Rescue Department began collecting samples and recorded witness accounts as early as 8am.

The department’s assistant director (operations), Mohd Rizal Buang said this was to facilitate investigations into the blaze which claimed the lives of six ICU patients on the second floor of the city’s biggest hospital.

“We have taken various specimens (from the scene of the fire), including items which might have contributed to the blaze for analysis at the fire investigation laboratory in the state fire and rescue department headquarters in Kangkar Tebrau.

“We have quarantined only the ICU area for a week and have cleaned the other wards which have since resumed normal operations.

“For this investigation, we have eight people from our state headquarters, as well as from Putrajaya,” he told Bernama here today.

Meanwhile, several lecturers from the Education Faculty in Universiti Teknologi Malaysia (UTM) have volunteered to help those traumatised by the blaze.

UTM Counsellors chief coordinator, Associate Professor Dr Syed Mohamed Shafeq Syed Mansor said the lecturers offered the assistance as they had international and local experience.

“Our group comprises a professor, two psychology officers and two counselling officers, who are assisted by 15 masters degree students who can help in post-trauma and stress treatment.

“We have been at HSA since 2pm yesterday to talk to the psychology officer on the kind of help and work schedule,” he said in a statement here.

Dr Syed Mohamed Shaffeq said the team would provide services, either individually or in groups, to the families of the victims, senior hospital and agency officials involved in putting out the fire and rescuing the victims.

“The services are currently provided at the Johor Islamic Religious Department and Open University buildings near the HSA for six days, beginning yesterday.

“After this period, they can come to UTM for the services,” he added.

In the blaze which was believed to have started about 9am from the hospital’s ICU treatment room in the south wing, six people met a fiery end.

They were epilepsy patient M. Kaliama, 23; K. Logeswaran, 20; Yusof Hasan, 53; Choo Lin Fong, 37; Tan Ah Wah, 60; and C. Neeramaladevi, 24.

Initial investigations have not discounted electrical short-circuit as the cause of the blaze. – BERNAMA

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