A patient has died, and a paramedic was injured in a mysterious ambulance explosion. The ambulance caught fire while at a Hawaii hospital emergency room. The patient being transported died in the blaze on Thursday, said officials.
During a news conference on Thursday, Dr. Jim Ireland, the head of Honolulu’s emergency services department, said that the inferno seriously injured the paramedic, who is listed in critical condition. He was working on the 91-year-old patient in the back of the vehicle on Wednesday.
“Our thoughts and prayers right now are with our paramedic and his family, as well as the patient who lost his life in the ambulance and his family,” Ireland said.
The Honolulu Emergency Services Department reported, in a news release, that the fire broke out around 8:00 PM while the vehicle was in the driveway of Adventist Health Castle hospital in Kailua, Hawaii.
Ireland said that to save the paramedic and the patient, the emergency medical technician driving the vehicle jumped out of the ambulance and rushed over to help. However, because of the intensity of the fire, the patient could not be saved, the doctor added.
“We don’t know why the fire started,” Ireland said. “None of us have ever seen anything like this.”
Ireland noted that to avoid speculation, “everything is on the table” while the Honolulu Fire Department is investigating the fire. He would not release any information about the probe while authorities continue investigating the matter.
“We’re just as eager for answers as everyone else,” Ireland said. “We want to know what happened, and we want to make sure this never happens again.”
This kind of fire is a rare occurrence, said Ireland. “In 30 years here, I’ve never seen it.”
Out of respect for their privacy, the name of the patient or the paramedic have not been released by officials.