Another ceiling collapse at hospital

KUALA LUMPUR - A portion of the ceiling at the Serdang Hospital's newborn babies intensive care unit (ICU) collapsed, just several months after parts of the ceiling fell in the maternity ward.

Pieces of the ceiling collapsed at 1.30am yesterday and covered an area between 2.4m to 3m at the wing. No one was injured.

The matter was handled internally by the hospital and police and Fire and Rescue department sources said they received no reports of the collapse.

This is the fourth incident at the hospital in three years.

Health Ministry deputy director-general of health (medical) Datuk Dr Jeyaindran Sinnadurai said the ministry viewed the incident seriously and said that the minister had instructed its officials to meet with the Public Works Department over the matter.

"A probe into the frequent collapses has begun since the last incident at the hospital.

"This is because the ceiling slabs are hung from the concrete above it and due to material failure, they give way," he said.

When contacted, a hospital spokesman declined to reveal any more details of the incident, only saying that the management would release a statement on the matter soon.

On Sept 30, parts of the ceiling at the maternity ward of the hospital collapsed. In August last year, three nurses and a medical officer were injured when 15 ceiling pieces collapsed in the hospital's emergency department.

Former Health Minister Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai reportedly said that the ministry had allocated RM800,000 to replace 250sq ft of the ceiling at the lobby of the hospital when it first collapsed in January 2011.