A PATIENT has died after an ambulance he was travelling in exploded outside a hospital.
Two paramedics were also injured as the vehicle burst into flames in front of Naas General Hospital in Kildare, Ireland.
The man killed in the explosion is reported to be in his 70s and one of the paramedics is in intensive care.
It is believed the patient killed in the explosion was in the ambulance when it was engulfed by flames.
One of the two crew members hurt in the explosion suffered serious burns to the head, face and upper body.
Emergency services evacuated parts of the building as firefighters battled the blaze at 2pm today.
An eyewitness tweeted: “Looks like Naas Hospital A&E may be shut for a while if you’re heading there.
“Ambulance after exploding outside it.”
Thick black smoke was seen billowing from the ambulance parked outside the hospital.
It is not yet clear what sparked the explosion which resulted in a number of patients being evacuated from the building.
Police cordoned off the scene.
A HSE statement read: “The HSE can confirm that following a serious incident at Naas General Hospital, the Emergency Department has been temporarily closed.
A police spokesman said: “A male patient was in the ambulance at the time of the fire and was pronounced dead at the scene.
“The National Ambulance Service (NAS) has implemented appropriate diversion protocols and patients are being taken to alternative hospitals.
“The NAS has informed both the Health and Safety Authority (HSA) and An Garda Siochana and a full investigation is underway into the incident.”
The spokesman continued: “The hospital has advised any member of the public seeking access to medical care to visit their GP in the first instance and if necessary to access another Emergency Department in an alternative hospital.
“The hospital has also requested that members of the public refrain from visiting at this time.”
Naas General Hospital covers County Kildare and West Wicklow.
Source: The Sun