A suspected gas leak has forced the evacuation of a floor at the Peter MacCallum Cancer Institute in East Melbourne.
The evacuation has forced the cancellation of nine surgeries planned for today, said a spokeswoman for the hospital, Emma Liepa.
The suspected leak occurred on the first floor, where the hospital’s theatre suite and sterilisation department are located.
The leak was first suspected at 8.30am, when a staff member noticed a smell of gas, said Ms Liepa.
‘‘We didn’t evacuate the building but we didn’t let anybody in the building. We’ve just started to let people back in so all of our staff and patients are back in the building.
‘‘The theatre will remain closed today. Theatre has been cancelled for today.’’
Ms Liepa said there was no surgery in progress when the floor was evacuated.
A Metropolitan Fire Brigade spokesman said the suspected leak concerned a one-litre bottle of ethylene oxide, which is a gas used to sterilise medical equipment. The Metropolitan Fire Brigade are still investigating.