Fire breaks out at Philippine General Hospital

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The fire that hit the state-run Philippine General Hospital early Sunday morning was put out at 5:41 a.m., according to the Bureau of Fire Protection. As of the latest report, there has been no injury or casualty from the incident, authorities say.

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, May 16) — A fire hit the state-run Philippine General Hospital at Taft Avenue, Manila early Sunday morning, according to the Bureau of Fire Protection.

Authorities said the blaze started in an operating room on the third floor of the facility. It reached first alarm at 12:41 a.m. and was quickly raised to the second level at 12:58 a.m., the BFP-National Capital Region reported.

A total of fourteen fire trucks responded to the scene, while photos and videos on social media showed patients being evacuated. The BFP said the fire was declared under control at 2:46 a.m. and was put out at 5:41 a.m.

No one was hurt in the fire, the Manila Public Information Office said. Authorities are still investigating the cause of the incident.

Sta. Ana Hospital Director Dr. Grace Padilla said 12 babies from the neonatal intensive care unit were transferred to their hospital, while Ospital ng Maynila Director Dr. Karl Laqui said two patients needing appendectomy were moved to their facility.

In a Twitter post, Vice President Leni Robredo appealed for industrial fans to help eliminate the smoke in the building.

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque thanked those who immediately responded with emergency donations and encouraged people to send assistance to the state-run hospital's official fundraising groups.

"Big or small, cash or in kind, these acts of kindess and generosity would be of great help and assistance to those who are in need," said Roque.

PGH is the largest COVID-19 referral hospital in the country.

Data from the Health department show the facility's COVID-19 bed capacity is under the moderate classification as of May 14, which means 60% to 69% of its beds for infected patients are occupied. During the surge in cases last month, its bed utilization rate reached 90%, with at least five coronavirus deaths recorded daily, according to its spokesman.

CNN Philippines Correspondent Paolo Barcelon contributed to this report.