HONOLULU (KHON2) — It has been nearly a week since an ambulance burst into flames just steps away from the Adventist Health Castle hospital, a 91-year-old patient who was being transported in the ambulance died, while a 36-year-old EMS paramedic was critically injured.
City, state and federal agencies are investigating the deadly incident, including the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF).
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ATF Public Information Officer Jason Chudy said the bureau flew an electrical engineer from the fire research lab in Maryland to help find answers to the ambulance fire. Two agents from the Hawaii field office are also helping.
“Anytime you’re dealing with a vehicle, especially one that’s got, you know, medical equipment like that, it’s all going to be connected electronically — you’re going to have power that goes back and forth,” Chudy said. “And that’s obviously something that they want to take a look at, either to confirm that was a cause or to rule out that it was a cause.”
This was a different type of call for the ATF, which usually supports structural incidents. But the bureau was called in for its fire and explosives expertise.
Chudy said, “The majority of the calls that we get are generally structures, buildings, you know, building complexes. So for this, it’s a little unusual, but again, we’ve got the expertise in fire investigation to come out, it makes sure that this is done right.”
At this time, there is no timeline for the investigation or if the electrical engineer will need to fly out any evidence for testing at the bureau’s lab in Maryland.
The Honolulu Fire Department said there is nothing new to report on their part.