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Patients evacuated after car crashes into hospital

An Audi went through the wall of St Andrews Community Hospital and burst into flames.

Hospital: Car ploughs into side of building in St Andrews.
Hospital: Car ploughs into side of building in St Andrews. Lorraine Urquhart

Patients were evacuated after a car smashed into St Andrews Community Hospital.

Emergency services were called to the hospital on Largo Road in the early hours of Thursday after an Audi crashed into it, causing a blaze.

Fire crews, alerted by the automatic alarms, arrived shortly after 2am to find a car had gone through the wall of the GP practice and was on fire.

A Police Scotland spokesman confirmed a 27-year-old man was traced at a nearby address and taken into custody.

He will be appear at court at a later date in relation to road traffic offences.

The area of the building hit by the car was not in use at the time and no patients or members of staff were injured during the incident.

Sergeant Pat Turner, of St Andrews Police Station, said: "It was extremely fortunate that the part of the building with which the vehicle collided was not being used at that time.

"But this incident had the potential for much more serious consequences.

"This was undoubtedly a frightening experience for hospital residents but staff and emergency services initiated established protocols which resulted in the safe evacuation of all patients and staff."

An NHS Fife spokesperson said: "We would like to reassure our patients and members of the public that whilst there has been significant damage to an area of the building, our patients and staff are safe.

"We have put in place contingency plans to ensure the continued provision of high quality care and we are working to return services to normal as soon as possible.

"Inpatient care is unaffected and wards should be contacted in the usual manner.

"Because the GP practice area of building has been assessed as significantly damaged, we are now in the process of trying to contact patients with existing GP appointments to make alternative arrangements.

"If there is a need for urgent GP assessment, please present to the minor injuries unit or contact NHS 24.

"All other areas of the building continue to operate as normal.

"This situation continues to be under regular review and further information will be made available in due course."

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