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Jan 03,2008
Official: London hospital fire 'disaster'
by UPI

LONDON -- Officials at London's Royal Marsden cancer treatment hospital say Wednesday's fire created a financial disaster for the premier institution.

Founded in 1851, much of the hospital's roof and operating rooms were damaged when the fire broke out, The Guardian reported Thursday.

Radiologist Dr. Peter Blake told the newspaper emergency preparations paid off when the fire started on the fourth floor.

"We practiced a lot for evacuating people, but financially it's a disaster," he said.

One patient and two firefighters required treatment for smoke inhalation, hospital officials said.

Authorities said 800 staff and 90 patients were safely evacuated, and other hospitals took in the displaced patients. It wasn't immediately clear how the facility would deal with hundreds of out-patients who arrive daily for radiation or chemotherapy, the newspaper said.

The Royal Marsden is the largest cancer center in Europe, seeing more than 40,000 patients from Britain and abroad each year.

Copyright © 2007, by United Press International. All Rights Reserved.

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