Hampshire & Isle of Wight

Winchester's Royal Hampshire County Hospital fully reopens

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Media captionAn investigation into the blaze by Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service is expected to take several days

The A&E department at Winchester's Royal Hampshire County Hospital is fully operational after being shut for 24 hours following a fire.

Nearly 100 firefighters tackled Friday's blaze in the building housing the MRI scanner.

Some patients with head injuries were moved to Southampton or Basingstoke.

Mobile MRI and CT units have been brought in to allow scans to resume. No-one was injured in the fire, but about 50 people were moved to safety.

Alex Whitfield, chief operating officer at the hospital, said the hospital had to test the scanners and familiarise staff with the new units.

She said: "We have not had to cancel any surgery."

The replacement scanners have been provided by private company Alliance Medical.

Ms Whitfield said: "The building that was on fire had two CT scanners. The one we can see is still intact, which is a relief as they were brand new machines purchased after charitable donations to the hospital.

"It appears the fire started in the roof space above the scanner but the fire investigation officer has not been able to get in yet."

A&E reopened on Saturday evening for minor injuries. Some patients who had been taken to Southampton and Basingstoke hospitals with head injuries, have now been transferred back to Winchester, Ms Whitfield said.

She added: "The staff did an amazing job evacuating the building and getting the area back up by cleaning and getting rid of the smell of smoke."

An investigation into the blaze by Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service is expected to take several days.

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