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Bristol Royal Infirmary hospital ‘evacuated’ after a critical incident was declared

Bristol’s main hospital was evacuated, witnesses said, after a power outage caused what was described as a “critical incident” on Friday afternoon.

One person there said at least three fire engines rushed to the Bristol Royal Infirmary, in Upper Maudlin Street, shortly after 3pm.

Police officers on horseback were seen asking people to leave the area.

University Hospitals Bristol and Weston NHS (UHBW) wrote on social media: “We have declared an internal critical incident due to a power outage in a number of our hospitals in Bristol city centre.

“We ask the public not to visit our hospitals until the incident has been resolved. Make use of alternative services in the area.”

Avon and Somerset Police said it was supporting the Avon Fire and Rescue Service with “an ongoing incident” believed to have been caused by an electrical fault at Bristol Royal Infirmary.

“Officers were on site within ten minutes and are supporting the fire brigade with road closures,” the force said. “The mounted section and drone units are among our existing assets.”

Several roads were closed for a time, including Lower Maudlin Street, Upper Maudlin Street, Malborough Street, Jamaica Street, St Michael’s Hill and Colston Hill, but all later reopened except Upper Maudlin Street to incoming traffic.

An emergency generator arrived at the hospital under a police escort, city website Bristol Live reported. Technicians were seen working quickly to connect the new generator.

Shortly after 9 p.m., the hospital said its adult emergency department had reopened.

Dr. Rebecca Maxwell, interim chief medical officer at UHBW, said: “Our adult emergency department is now open to urgent walk-in patients. Our pediatric emergency department remains open for both ambulances and walk-in patients.

“Some of our locations are still affected by the power outage and we are working to resolve the situation as quickly as possible. Thank you for your patience.”