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Four men arrested in connection with loss of power at Kent's QEQM Hospital

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It's been revealed that a power cut which blacked out a Kent hospital last night (20/02), shutting down A&E for several hours, was caused by thieves trying to steal electrical cabling.

It wiped out the main power supply at the Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother in Margate and even shut down the hospital's back-up generator which meant emergency patients had to be diverted.

4 men have been arrested and taken into custody by West Midlands Police in connection with the loss of power.

Hospital CCTV is being examined in the hunt for the culprits.

Jenna Verdicchio reported outside the QEQM hospital and sent this:

The QEQM's A&E department was in darkness.

Fire crews including 4 engines attend the scene providing emergency flood lights for the building which had a power outage for around 4 hours.

The hospital's trust and police have confirmed the power-cut was caused by thieves attempting to steal electric cables from the building.

A reckless act putting people's lives in jeopardy.

QEQM Hospital in darkness

A number of incoming patients were diverted away from the emergency department and instead were taken to the William Harvey Hospital in Ashford which is almost 40 miles away.

People at the QEQM were baffled as to why anyone would commit such a crime.

The Trust that manages the hospital assured people that contingency plans were in place and said in a statement today:

These cables connect the building to the backup emergency generator and were damaged along with other cables that control the power in part of the hospital.

The Trust's back-up systems for critical equipment maintained power which allowed staff to safely move patients to unaffected parts of the hospital. Staff were able to repair the damaged cables and reinstate power and the staff on site have worked quickly and safely to return to normal operating.

– East Kent Hospitals University NHS Foundation Trust
The power came back on at around 11pm

The power came back on at around 11pm but in those 4 hours of that the emergency department was without power, medical staff were forced to work by torchlight, some even using their mobile phones for light.

Kent Police have now begun a criminal investigation and are appealing for anyone with information to come forward.