Power outage and fire causes critical incident at BRI in Bristol

Emergency services outside Bristol Royal Infirmary Hospital
Emergency services say there are currently 10 appliances on the scene [BBC]

The Bristol Royal Infirmary has been evacuated and a critical incident declared after a power outage and a fire.

Avon Fire and Rescue Service said there are currently 10 appliances in attendance outside the hospital on Upper Maudlin Street in the city centre.

Avon and Somerset Police officers are also at the scene and several nearby roads remain closed.

The adult accident and emergency department is closed, with cases being diverted to other hospitals.

Emergency services outside Bristol Royal Infirmary Hospital

A patient inside the hospital said: "There was a power cut and it went pitch black.

"Then they said we all had to evacuate from the building.

Another patient said there were "flickering lights" on their ward before they were told to leave.

He said he has been standing outside the hospital for three hours.

Emergency generators have since arrived at the hospital.

Image of a generator on a truck outside the BRI
Emergency generators arrived at the hospital just before 18.00 BST [BBC]

Generators will help keep power going inside, with a focus on the intensive care, the hospital said.

Other areas of the hospital are still without power, including parts of the high dependency unit, the adult emergency department and the Queen's bulding.

The neighbouring children's hospital is said to be unaffected, as is the oncolgy department.

Fire crews standing outside the Bristol Royal Infirmary
Multiple fire crews were sent to the scene [BBC]

Pedestrians and drivers have been told to avoid the area.

Staff at the hospital took to X, formerly Twitter, to urge the public not to attend the hospital until the incident is resolved.

Dr Rebecca Maxwell, Interim Chief Medical Officer at University Hospitals Bristol and Weston NHS Foundation Trust (UHBW) said: “We have declared a critical incident due to a power outage.

"We aim to have this fully resolved as soon as possible.

"All patients, visitors and colleagues are safe."

She told the BBC operations were happening at the time of the power outage, but they were able to safely conclude before surgery was then paused, adding emergency cases have been dealt with on site or diverted to other hospitals.

Some areas of the hospital remain in darkness, she added.

Bristol University, which is close to the BRI, has reported it is also experiencing a power outage, currently causing IT issues across multiple locations on their campus.

Image of a police van by the BRI
Several road closures are in place [BBC]

A spokesperson from Avon and Somerset Police said: "We are supporting our colleagues at Avon Fire and Rescue Service with an ongoing incident believed to be caused by an electrical fault at the Bristol Royal Infirmary."

Lower Maudlin Street, Upper Maudlin Street, Malborough Street, Jamaica Street, St Michael's Hill and Colston hill are currently closed.

Police have asked members of the public and motorists to avoid the area.

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