Explosion at Ibague hospital leaves 9 in critical condition

Nine of the ten people injured when a boiler exploded in an Ibague hospital remain in a critical condition after being transfered to a Bogota facility.

Governor Oscar Barreto said the patients were injured after a gas-run boiler failed and then exploded on Saturday night at Federico Lleras Acosta Hospital, Ibague’s largest medical facility.

Early reports from the hospital said that one person was killed in the blast, but later reports said the individual had died from other causes before the explosion took place.

450 people were evacuated from the ten-story building following the explosion.

Residents in the surrounding area were asked to turn off their gas supplies until further notice

Luis Wilches, manager of Bogota’s Simon Bolivar hospital, said that ten of the injured arrived at his facility, three of whom had to be resuscitated and six were placed in intensive care. Nine of the patients were placed on respirators because their airways are blocked due to swelling.

Wilches said only one of the patients is conscious.

The patients were transfered to Bogota because the Ibague hospital, located some 200 kilometers to the south-west of the capital, does not have a burns unit.

The city authorities postponed a local soccer match between Deportes Tolima and Once Caldas following the explosion, on the grounds that the hospital was in no state to receive any possibly emergencies.

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