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Operating theatres closed after cable theives target hospital
A HOSPITAL could have faced "a potential disaster" after cable was stolen causing the closure of two operating theatres.
The late-night theft at around 2am on Thursday (June 28) was the third time Queen Mary’s Hospital in Sidcup has been targeted by cable thieves this year.
The two operating theatres were made unsafe when 150m of earthing cable was removed, leading surgery to be moved.
South London Healthcare Trust's deputy chief executive Jennie Hall said: "I am extremely concerned that anyone would steal vital equipment from a hospital placing patients at potential risk.
"Had we not known that the cable had been taken, we could have used the theatres and had a potential disaster on our hands."
Old Bexley and Sidcup MP James Brokenshire said: "This is a truly shocking incident. The wanton disregard of the needs of patients requiring surgery and the disruption to the hospital beggars belief.
"The thieves involved in this callous crime deserve nothing but contempt. It underlines why the government is right to strengthen police powers to combat metal theft and toughen up the response to those involved in the trade of stolen metal."
The trust said the cable will cost £5,139 to replace. The operating theatres were running again by Friday afternoon (June 29).
Porters chased a group away from the hospital following the incident and called police.
In November, News Shopper reported the theft of several metres of copper cable for a back-up generator, "endangering" patients’ lives.
Police confirmed they were called at 1.34am by security staff about two youths being on the roof, but by the time officers arrived they had gone.
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