OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – OU Medical relocated patients today after hot steam built up in the first few floors. According to OU Medical, a steam pipe burst in the basement of the south tower causing steam to take over the entire east side of the tower. The hospital says all patients are now safe and the damage left behind is low.  

OU Medical released a statement following the incident:

Thank you to the Oklahoma City Police and Fire Departments, OU Health Sciences Center Police Department, FEMA and The University of Oklahoma Health Sciences team for the quick and coordinated response to a steam pipe burst in the basement of the south tower at OU Health University of Oklahoma Medical Center. Nearly 75 patients were safely and immediately moved from the impacted areas to other areas of our health system. The affected area encompassed the east side of the south tower. As we begin assessing the cleanup and damage to the building, all patients are safe and there has been minimal disruption to our services. The current impact to patient care is temporary, including emergency department divert and slight delays in surgical procedures in order to ensure we have a fully stable environment. 

David McCollum, Media Relations, OU Medical

When Oklahoma City fire crews first arrived at OU Medical, they say the steam looked like smoke.

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“We did call for a commercial fire alarm once our firefighters did arrive there was one patient outside that experienced a medical episode they were treated and released on scene,” said Capt. Scott Douglas, OKC fire.

Oklahoma City Fire worked with OU Medical crews to evacuate patients into the west side of the building while fire crews were trying to figure out where the steam was coming from on the east side.

“Maintenance personnel—once they turned off the chiller room allowed our firefighters to make entry into the boiler room and that’s where we did find the broken steam pipe,” said Douglas.

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Fire crews say one firefighter had steam burns on his face after working the scene, but is expected to be okay. One patient at the hospital also had an asthma attack during the emergency relocations. No one else was hurt in the incident.