KUALA LUMPUR: A mental patient used a lighter to start a fire at the mental patient isolation room of the Emergency Department at Kuala Lumpur Hospital (HKL) early Friday.
Health director-general Datuk Dr Hasan Abdul Rahman said the cause of the fire at 12.30am was traced after studying footage of closed-circuit television (CCTV) in the room.
“Hospital staff used fire extinguishers to put out the fire and save the mental patient but he died as the fire spread quickly,” he said in a statement here on Saturday.
He said other patients and Emergency Department staff were evacuated until the fire was put out by the Fire and Rescue Department at 12.55am.
Before the fire, the aggressive mental patient was taken by police accompanied by two family members to the Emergency Department at 10.15 pm.
The patient was placed at mental patient isolation room in accordance with the standard operating procedures for aggressive mental patients.
The fire disrupted the department's services for 94 minutes and resumed at 1.20am as it only destroyed the isolation room.
“No other patients or medical staff was injured in the fire. A post-mortem on the body found the cause of death was soot inhalation.”
Dr Hasan said only the mental patient died and not two as reported by some newspapers as the two had died from road accidents.
“The ministry regrets the fire and sympathise with family members of the deceased and will make improvements if investigation finds weaknesses in handling of the case,” he added.- Bernama