Published: 15:30, 20 May 2020
| Updated: 16:34, 20 May 2020
A burst water pipe has forced the closure of a hospital after the leak brought a ceiling crashing down.
The incident happened yesterday at Tonbridge Cottage Hospital and saw six patients immediately relocated to Sevenoaks Hospital, where they were accompanied by four members of hospital staff to help them settle in.
Today 12 remaining patients, who were another wing of the Vauxhall Lane facility when the leak occurred, have been moved to other locations and their families have been contacted.
No patients or members of staff were injured in the incident, which happened around 7.20pm.
Kent Fire and Rescue Service was called to help and to assess the damage, while emergency plumbers and electricians were also on hand to make sure the site was safe.
It is hoped the hospital will reopen within a fortnight.
Kent Community Health NHS Foundation Trust chief executive Paul Bentley said: "Patient care and safety is our top priority and I am pleased that our wonderful staff at the hospital reacted quickly, but without panic, to make sure their patients were cared for and safe.
"Our thanks to a great response from Kent Fire and Rescue Service, the officers on duty were compassionate and mindful of our patients."
The cause of the burst water pipe is being investigated, and the rest of the hospital's plumbing will also be assessed to see if further repairs are required.
Mr Bentley added: “There is a lot of mess to clear up and an assessment needs to take place to establish the exact cause and also what needs to be done now to get the hospital up and running again.
"At this stage, we are hoping to have the inpatient unit re-opened within seven to 10 working days. Tonbridge Cottage Hospital is a much loved part of the local community."
More by this authorRhys Griffiths