Fire prompts evacuation of Malaysia's largest public hospital

KUALA LUMPUR (Reuters) - A fire broke out in the forensics department of Malaysia's largest public hospital on Saturday, forcing an evacuation of patients, staff and visitors.

The forensics institute at Hospital Kuala Lumpur came under the global spotlight last year when it conducted the post mortem on the body of Kim Jong Nam, the murdered half-brother of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.

Hospital authorities said fire fighters had put out the blaze and no casualties had been reported.

Images and videos posted on Twitter and Facebook showed hospital staff evacuating dozens of patients on stretchers and in wheelchairs.

"The cause of the fire and extent of damage are still being investigated and further information will be announced from time to time," said HKL director Dr Nor Akma binti Yusuf.

Last year, a blaze at an Islamic boarding school in Kuala Lumpur killed at least 23 people, most of them teenage boys.

The fire at HKL is believed to have started at the National Institute of Forensic Medicine, the top forensics agency in the country, Nor said.

The forensics institute has handled several high profile cases in Malaysia, including the post mortem on the body of Kim Jong Nam.

Two women, Indonesian Siti Aisyah and Vietnamese Doan Thi Huong, have been charged with murdering Kim by smearing his face with VX, a banned chemical poison, at Kuala Lumpur airport on Feb. 13 last year.

Any connection between the fire and this case was considered unlikely.

(Reporting by Praveen Menon; editing by Nick Macfie)