Review underway of oxygen tanks in HSE's 250 ambulances after fatal fire

Update 2.45pm: The company that supplies oxygen tanks to the Health Service Executive is to undertake a review of all canisters in the 250 HSE-owned ambulances around the country.

The check has been ordered after a man in his 70s died in a fire in the back of an ambulance outside Naas General Hospital yesterday.

Initial investigations suggest the fire started when an oxygen tank exploded

Damien McCallien of the HSE said all necessary safety checks were taking place, adding the thorough review started last night.

Of the 250 ambulances located aruond the country, 170 are in operation on any one day.

Update 8.45am: Paramedics around the country are carrying out checks on their equipment today - following yesterday's fatal fire at Naas General Hospital.

A patient lost his life - and two paramedics were injured in the incident - which broke out in an ambulance at the entrance to the hospital’s Emergency Department.

The HSE is looking into the possibility that oxygen tanks on the vehicle may have caused an explosion.

David Hall CEO Lifeline Ambulance Service says paramedics are very aware of the dangers their job poses.

Earlier: The Government is being urged to order an examination of the entire ambulance fleet following a fatal fire in Kildare.

A patient lost his life - while two paramedics were injured in the blaze - at Naas General Hospital yesterday afternoon.

Health Minister Simon Harris said he was 'numb' when he heard about the fire.

Paul Bell of SIPTU says the possibility of a widespread problem must be examined: "It's critically important to come to terms with this with a total examination of the fleet and the equipment in the fleet.

"We also obviously want to understand what caused this incident, especially with the injuries sustained and the fatality and indeed the total destruction of the vehicle."

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