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Flinders had bomb threat on top of power outage

CHECK RAMPING at FMC
Flinders Medical Centre in Adelaide’s south is experiencing a “significant” power outage. Picture: NCA NewsWire / Kelly Barnes

Flinders Medical Centre was dealing with a bomb threat as well as a power outage on Tuesday.

FMC chief executive Kerrie Freeman revealed there was a separate bomb threat, causing the hospital to initiate a Code Purple alert until SAPOL advised there was no threat.

She also revealed 10 patients had been moved from FMC’s intensive care unit to Flinders Private Hospital but were expected to be back by Wednesday afternoon. Another 21 patients remained in the public hospital ICU.

CHECK RAMPING at FMC
Flinders Medical Centre in Adelaide’s south is experiencing a “significant” power outage. Picture: NCA NewsWire / Kelly Barnes

Five patients had elective surgery postponed due to them needing ICU care afterwards.

“We have not had any reports of patient harm,” Ms Freeman said.

“Those five cases are in the process of being rebooked.”

Ms Freeman has ordered an independent inquiry into the problem and says she expects the hospital will “need cranes to bring in cables” to fully rectify the system.

She confirmed births were underway during the problem but none were affected.

Ms Freeman also said no embryos were stored on site but if they had been they would have been connected to reserve power.

“The whole hospital is back online,” she said.

On Tuesday, a transformer failure caused a “significant” electrical outage and chaos at the hospital, with the centre without mains power despite having patients on life support.

High-risk patients were evacuated to Flinders Private Hospital’s ICU “out of an abundance of caution” after clinical advice.

SA Health confirmed on Tuesday afternoon the Flinders Medical Centre had “experienced significant electrical fault, resulting in a power interruption”.

The hospital urged people to seek medical attention elsewhere and was closed to visitors. Emergency lighting was set up inside the hospital.

An SA Health spokeswoman said power was restored to most of the hospital about 9.30pm, but generators were still being used to power one area, including the ICU.

One woman outside the hospital on Tuesday evening, who wished to remain anonymous, was visiting her brother who was in the ICU on a ventilator.

She said he and other high-risk patients had been evacuated to Flinders Private Hospital out of what nurses described as “extra caution”.

The Advertiser understands no life support equipment went offline during the blackout.

A statement from the Southern Adelaide Local Health Network on Tuesday afternoon confirmed technicians were on site to restore the electricity, and essential power had been activated.

After power was restored, business continuity plans remain in place while repair works are underway, a spokeswoman said.

“We appreciate the patience and understanding of the community at this time and will provide further updates on Wednesday,” the statement said.

SA Power Networks head of corporate affairs Paul Roberts said the incident was due to a fault within the hospital itself, and wouldn’t affect homes in surrounding suburbs.

“There is a separate, dedicated line of power supply to the hospital, and there was an internal fault that triggered the outage,” Mr Roberts said.

“The main line of supply has tipped, meaning Flinders Medical Centre is unable to accept power from that line at this time.”