Power restored at Abu Dhabi hospital that was forced to evacuate patients

A nearby burst pipe caused a leak in Ahalia Hospital's electrics room, forcing staff to evacuate patients to another facility.

Ahalia Hospital in Abu Dhabi is operational again after a water leak forced an evacuation of patients on Monday night. Christopher Pike / The National
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ABU DHABI // A power cut that forced 30 patients to be removed from Ahalia Hospital ended on Tuesday morning.

With water leaking into the basement of the building in the city centre, a decision was made on Monday night to cut the power and move the patients via a fleet of ambulances to a Mussaffah hospital.

A hospital spokesman said the power was restored at 11.45am on Tuesday and operations resumed as normal.

The electricity was turned back on after officials from Civil Defence, police and the Abu Dhabi Water and Electricity Authority deemed the building safe.

Patients had to leave the hospital, near the du building on Hamdan Street, after it lost power and its two auxiliary generators failed.

Maj Bahyan Al Ameri of Abu Dhabi Community Police said the hospital lost its main power about 9.45pm on Monday when water had leaked in from maintenance work across the street.

On Tuesday, however, hospital authorities denied losing power and said their generators were in working order but they had been advised by Civil Defence not to use them.

“There was water leakage in the electrical room,” a spokesman said. “We couldn’t control the water, it could have been from a pipe burst.

“The Civil Defence advised us to shut off the power and asked us not to use the generators as a safety measure. We then shifted the patients to our other hospital around 9.30pm.

“We have evacuation plans in place and do regular drills, and this helped to evacuate the patients quickly. All of them were stable when we moved them.”

The hospital said most of the patients would continue to receive care in Mussaffah and would be moved back only if doctors deemed it necessary.

“They will be discharged in a day or two after doctors assess their situation. We haven’t decided to bring them back. It will be decided by the doctors.”

But some patients returned to complete formalities after being discharged from the Mussaffah hospital.

“We were told there was an electrical problem and that we had to be shifted to their hospital in Mussaffah,” said Abulrahman, a labourer.

“They moved us in an ambulance. I was admitted here last Thursday because I had to undergo a surgery for a problem in my bladder.

“I am OK now and I’m getting discharged. I need to go back to the hospital in Hamdan Street to get my paperwork done. I will also be meeting the doctor for a follow-up.”

He had been taken back on Tuesday afternoon in a hospital ambulance.

Another patient, who did not want to be identified, said: “We were shifted around 10pm on Monday night.

“I was admitted for a fever two to three days ago and will be discharged today.”

Medical services were uninterrupted at Ahalia hospital’s second building, which operates as an emergency ward.

“All the in-patients were in the building where the water had entered. The emergency ward in the other building was functional,” said the hospital spokesman.