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Around 250 patients evacuated in London hospital fire

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Around 250 patients and staff were evacuated from a London hospital today when a fire started in its basement.

Northwick Park Hospital’s A&E and maternity services departments were closed after a small fire in an electrical room in the basement. Patients were evacuated to avoid smoke.

London Fire Brigade said eight fire engines and 40 firefighters were working to put out the blaze at the hospital's Watford Road site.

A statement from North West London Hospitals NHS Trust, which runs the hospital, said: ‘The trust can confirm that at about 2.50pm today it declared an internal major incident at Northwick Park Hospital. This was after smoke was detected through the trust's alarm system in the basement of the hospital.

‘As the fire was situated near the ward block, the trust has moved approximately 250 patients from some of the wards to other areas within the hospital. All patients are safe,’ it said.

‘We have discharged those patients who are well enough to go home and have also closed our accident and emergency department and the maternity department to new admissions. This is so we can concentrate our resources on ensuring that we care for those patients who have to be moved,’ the statement added.

The trust said it would be setting up an information line for relatives of patients shortly.

It is the third fire at a London hospital in just over a year, following incidents at the Royal Marsden, Chase Farm and Great Ormond Street.

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