Health Care and Sustainability

Downtown boiler plant explosion affects hospital

December 26, 2017
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Mercy Health St. Mary's
Courtesy Mercy Health St. Mary's

A Christmas Day boiler explosion in downtown Grand Rapids has forced a hospital to cancel surgeries for the day.

Mercy Health St. Mary’s has cancelled all non-emergency surgeries for Dec. 26. Emergency surgeries are being diverted to other local hospitals.

Patients are being instructed to go to other hospitals for emergency services until further notice.

The Veolia Energy boiler explosion blew out the windows of its building, which is on Fulton Street across from The B.O.B. and Van Andel Arena in downtown Grand Rapids.

The hospital campus began receiving steam pressure again at 6:30 a.m., Dec. 26. It is taking several hours to achieve adequate pressure, so surgeries were cancelled due to loss of heat throughout the campus, according to a statement from St. Mary’s officials.

Veolia representatives indicate there could be several explanations for the explosion, which did not result in any injuries, and they are continuing to investigate, according to WZZM 13.

Perry Alburg, Veolia general manager, said he would not put the system back online unless he was “sure it can be operated safely.”

Update

The Mercy Health Saint Mary's emergency department was able to fully re-open at 11:30 a.m. on Dec. 27, with a full surgical schedule now in place.

Officials at the Veolia Energy plant in downtown Grand Rapids have assured Mercy Health it is at full capacity with no anticipated issues.

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