Safety

Chimney collapse results in hospital evacuation

Hospital Safety Insider, March 26, 2009

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The noise was so loud when part of a 40-foot chimney collapsed March 22 at the Adirondack Medical Center in Saranac Lake, NY, that officials initially thought a boiler at the hospital had exploded.

But the large bang that shook the building was actually the chimney breaking apart. The structural damage occurred at the base of the chimney, which serves as the exhaust system for the hospital’s two boilers, a hospital spokesman told WPTZ.com. The boilers were not damaged, but when the chimney broke apart debris struck a control panel. A safety mechanism automatically shut the boilers down, cutting off the building’s heat and hot water for two days.

Hospital staff and fire crews moved all 35 patients out of the facility and they were transported to other area hospitals. The hospital began admitting patients again March 24, after a new chimney was installed, reported WCAX-TV.



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