Hampshire & Isle of Wight

Winchester Hospital A&E reopens after fire

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Media captionFirefighters tackle the hospital fire

The A&E department at Winchester's Royal Hampshire County Hospital has reopened after being shut for more than 24 hours following a fire.

Friday afternoon's blaze started in a building housing a medical scanner.

A&E reopened at 20:00 GMT for minor injuries. People with head injuries would continue to be taken to Southampton and Basingstoke hospitals, the NHS said.

About 50 people were moved to safety after the fire but no-one was injured.

Nearly 100 firefighters tackled the blaze, in the building which housed the MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) scanner.

People in the accident and emergency and intensive care units, as well as some patients undergoing surgery, were moved to safe areas of the hospital.

The hospital said the maternity unit and paediatric services had remained open as usual and it would be contacting people if their appointments booked for next week need to be changed.

But it said routine surgery would be back to normal on Monday morning and no operations were expected to be cancelled.

Chris Gordon, chief executive of Winchester and Eastleigh Healthcare NHS Trust, said: "We are thrilled with the support and skills of staff to date which has allowed us to ensure all patients have remained safely on site and services are coming back as soon as possible.

"We would also like to extend out thanks to the Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service for their support throughout the evening and weekend."

The investigation into the fire is expected to take several days.

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