PATIENTS in the waiting room of Mt Hope General Hospital's main entrance building were briefly evacuated owing to a faulty coffee machine on Wednesday.
At approximately 12.30 pm, a staff member noticed smoke coming from the machine, prompting the evacuation. The Tunapuna Fire Station was contacted and fire officers arrived around 1 pm.
In a phone interview with Newsday, CEO of the North Central Regional Health Authority (NCRHA) Davlin Thomas said the incident was not a fire but rather the result of electrical issues with a coffee machine. He said the machine was unplugged and the vendor was contacted to retrieve it.
"It was like a wire boom on a machine...Our precaution is that we empty the building."
Thomas said after an inspection by the plant-operation team, it was confirmed that the area was safe for re-entry.
"Once I identified that this is not our intrinsic wiring for the building and that it's just a plug on a vending machine, we isolated the vending machine and let people back in."
Newsday interviewed an elderly woman who only identified herself as Marlene.
She said, "One minute I'm sitting down, then I hear everybody have to go outside, but I didn't see anything. I just heard people talking about fire.
"We waited outside for about half an hour, then we come back and sit down here."
When Newsday arrived, caution tape around the area was being removed.