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FH Odendaal Hospital: Fire claims two lives in Limpopo

Two patients have died at the FH Odendaal Hospital in Limpopo after a fire gutted parts of the hospital on Tuesday morning.

COVID-19 infections Groote Schuur Hospital

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A fire has claimed two lives at the FH Odendaal hospital in Modimolle, Limpopo on Tuesday. The fire, which is believed to have started around 4:00, has gutted parts of the hospital.

One of the deceased patients was a 61-year-old inmate who was serving a life sentence at the Modimolle Correctional Services Centre in Limpopo.


Limpopo Health MEC, Dr Phophi Ramathuba, said the fire started by one of the COVID-19 cubicles that burnt down completely.

“The nurses evacuated the patients to safety and tried to fight the fire even before the fire brigade arrived and all patients were evacuated.

“One was critically ill and was admitted when he was semi-conscious the previous night. They were trying to stabilise him in case they had to refer him. Another patient was an inmate who was also very ill. It’s quite sad that while were tried to rescue and save all the patients, we could not save the lives of these two,” Ramathuba said.

Department of Correctional Services spokesperson, Singabakho Nxumalo confirmed that the inmate died due to due to smoke inhalation.

“The 61-year-old inmate serving a life sentenced at Modimolle Correctional Centre was admitted in one of the hospitals in Limpopo when his ward caught fire.”


  • The FH Odendaal Hospital is the third health care facility to caught fire this year. An investigation is currently underway;
  • In February, a fire broke out at the Carletonville Hospital in Johannesburg and destroyed personal protective equipment and other medical equipment (including an X-ray unit, blankets, sheets, vital signs monitors and medical instruments, which had been there since April 2020) estimated to be worth more than R23 million; and
  • In April, the Charlotte Maxeke Academic Hospital was temporarily closed after a fire broke out in a storage room a Friday and reignited the following day and destroyed parts of the hospital. COVID-19 patients had to be evacuated and investigations are still underway.