Wed, May 12, 2004 - Page 3 News List

Chi Mei Medical Center is scene of snake scandal


Less than a week ahead of the presidential inauguration, five snakes were found at Tainan's Chi Mei Medical Center, the hospital that treated President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) after the shooting on the eve of the presidential elections.

According to a public relations officer at the hospital, the snakes were found at roughly 5:30pm on Monday, when a patient had spotted them in a third floor bathroom.

The hospital said that the snakes were not poisonous.

A total of five snakes were found in the hospital with three in the third floor bathroom, one by an emergency exit on the seventh floor, and one on a tenth floor skywalk connecting two hospital buildings. One of the snakes on the third floor was dead; the other four were alive when discovered.

While Chi Mei hospital officials suspect that the case could be just a prank, the events have been reported to the police for further investigation. However, hospital officials pointed out that it would be difficult to draw a connection between the placement of the snakes and the March 19 shooting of Chen and Vice President Vice President Anette Lu (呂秀蓮).

As soon as the hospital management learned that snakes had been placed in three different locations throughout hospital buildings, the fire department had been called to deal with the snakes.

The hospital also said that while security cameras had been installed near the hospital's main entrances, none had been placed around emergency exits or the skywalk. As such, no footage of the placement of the snakes had been found.

In addition, security precautions have been heightened at the hospital in light of the discovery of the snakes in public areas.

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