What caused Johor hospital fire that killed six patients?

Victims have been identified, and Johor government has offered aid to the families of the victims.

six dead in malaysia hospital fire
Representational image Reuters

Several theories emerged immediately after the deadly fire in a Johor hospital on Tuesday, which killed six people including ICU patients. One of the theories was that the fire at Sultanah Aminah Hospital in the southern Malaysian state of Johor was caused by a mobile phone explosion. There were also theories about the lax fire safety measures at the building.

However, the Malaysian authorities have now said the blaze was caused by faulty wiring in the building. According to a senior firefighting official, the fire could have started at a second-floor treatment room in the ICU, Today Online reported.

Of the seven people trapped inside the intensive-care unit, only one could be rescued. Among the dead were four females, all of whom were believed to be patients, Johor Baru Police Chief ACPSulaiman Salleh said.

Initial investigations suggested short circuit could have triggered the blast, and official said on Tuesday they were investigating the cause of the incident.

Social media had buzzed with rumours that the fire might have broken out after a mobile phone plugged into a charger next to an oxygen tank exploded. However, the authorities have rubbished the rumour. "That is only a rumour. The authorities are still carrying out their investigations," Malaysian Health Minister Dr S Subramaniam said.

At the time of the incident, there were close to 200 staff members and around 300 patients at the hospital.

Meanwhile, Johor government offered aid to the families of the victims and those who were injured in the fire. "We (the Johor government) will provide the appropriate aid soon to the next-of-kin of those who died," Johor Health and Environment Committee chairman Ayub Rahmat said, according to Astro Awani.

Those who died in the fire have been identified as M. Kaliama, C. Neeramaladevi, Yusof Hasan, K. Logeswaran, Choo Lin Fong, and Toh Ah Wah.