Middlesex Hospital staff credited with saving lives after fiery crash

A car crashed into the emergency room entrance of Middlesex Hospital Thursday

A car crashed into the emergency room entrance of Middlesex Hospital Thursday

A man in his 20s crashed his auto through the emergency room entrance at Middlesex Hospital Thursday morning and apparently set himself on fire, Mayor Daniel Drew said. Officials would not say what his condition was Thursday afternoon. Emergency responders evacuated approximately 30 patients and 20 staff members after the crash.

It didn't take long to realize those in the emergency waiting room were not the only ones at risk. The bomb squad and state and federal authorities have been called into help. Multiple jars of gas were found inside the man's auto, which was being sought by police. He was flown to Bridgeport Hospital, where he was being treated last night in the burn unit.

Police cordoned off Ellam's residence in Middletown as part of the investigation and homes in that area were evacuated.

The 27-year-old had "numerous convictions" and was known to police.

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Drew said authorities believe the crash was an isolated incident and that there is no threat to the community. Additional police officers were also dispatched to schools in Middletown as a matter of precaution.

The hospital announced that as of 4 p.m., Friday, they would once again be providing emergency care, but only to walk-in patients. Our Marlborough facility and our Westbrook facility are still open for business.

"Our emergency department is closed until further notice". All appointments and non-emergency surgery scheduled for yesterday and today had been canceled as had most visitations. I said 'something is happening over there.' My sister got up.

Patrick Turek, director of emergency management for Hartford Healthcare, said the center regularly conducts drills for larger events and was prepared in November to offer aid to The William W. Backus Hospital in Norwich when it experienced brief electrical problems, and also to Windham Hospital when a nearby waste paper recycling plant caught fire in January, though they ultimately were not needed. He said no threat was made to the hospital ahead of the incident.

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