Fire at Malaysian government hospital kills 6 patients

A fire at a Malaysian government hospital killed six patients and injured another patient and 10 hospital staff early Tuesday, officials said.

Some 500 people were evacuated from the hospital in southern Johor state after the fire raged through two floors of a building that houses the intensive care unit. Temporary tents were being used as treatment areas for patients after the evacuation.

Health Minister S. Subramaniam said six patients were trapped and died. Another patient was rescued but suffered severe burns while 10 hospital workers were injured, he said in a statement.

Johor police official Sulaiman Salleh said the bodies of four women and two men have been recovered from the hospital.

He told local media that the victims were believed to have suffocated in the thick smoke. Sulaiman said an initial investigation showed that faulty wiring may have caused the fire.

Officials said 10 fire engines were deployed to the scene and managed to stop the fire from spreading to other floors of the building.