Threat of bomb at Gympie Hospital put lives at risk

A MAN accused of threatening to blow up Gympie General Hospital did not need a bomb to put people's lives in danger, a health service source said after the incident.

The threat, allegedly made to hospital security staff at the peak of New Year's Eve-New Year's Day celebrations, forced ambulances to divert emergency patients from the Gympie hospital to Nambour.

This would have meant potentially life-endangering delays had patients needed urgent medical treatment.

Ambulance chief Wayne Sachs confirmed the incident had led to all ambulance crews being instructed to avoid the Gympie hospital.

"And we had such a busy night," he said.

Almost all calls for ambulance assistance were alcohol or celebration related, he said.

Several people had suffered falls or other accidents.

Police allege a man went to the hospital about 9pm on New Year's Eve for medical advice. Unhappy with what he was told, he returned just after midnight.

When security guards asked him to leave the hospital grounds, he allegedly responded aggressively and threatened to blow the hospital up.

Ten minutes later a call was made to say there was a bomb on the premises.

No bomb was found, but police soon found the man and arrested him.

He is expected to appear in Gympie Magistrates Court tomorrow.


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