PALMA'S state-of-the-art general hospital, Son Llatzer, located east of the capital at Son Ferriol, was the setting for an emergency evacuation of more than 60 patients in the early hours of yesterday morning after the outbreak of fire on the fourth floor.

The patients were moved out of their rooms into hallways and the central administration area of the hospital but with the source of the fire being quickly controlled, there were no major injuries. However, two people - an auxilliary nurse and a member of the maintenance staff - had to be seen by first aiders as a result of their inhalation of carbon monoxide. A communiqué issued by the hospital confirmed that the fire had broken out in an electrical room on the fourth floor, presumably as a result of a short circuit. It was detected at 2.15am at which point a well-rehearsed emergency action plan was put in place which involved alerting the hospital's maintenance centre, the fire service and heads of security. Evacuation of patients at risk from the incident began immediately with some being wheeled to safety in the open hall areas and others being relocated to adjacent sectors of the hospital.

At about four o'clock in the morning, once the fire had been stamped out and the surrounding areas cleaned and made safe, patients were able to return to their original rooms. Hospital management was able to confirm that there had been no material damage and that the evacuation process had been carried out in complete calm.