Södersjukhuset underground hospital was built between 1937 and 1944 in World War II. It was built beneath a surface hospital and connected to a railway tunnel so that patients could be unloaded in safety.
The structure became disused after the war and the space used for storage. In 1994 a Disaster Emergency Centre, DEMC, was constructed in the old tunnel system. 160 patients could, and still can, be cared for here, with self-sufficiency of air, power and water.
From the main spine of around 170 metres there are 12 major rooms on both sides, containing operating theatres, intensive care and nursing rooms. There is also a first-rate modern decontamination site that can cope with both civilian disasters as well as military, for instance a car accident with a chemical truck involved.
On a Sub Brit visit in 2011 we were given a detailed tour of the complex which was ready for immediate activation in case of a local disaster. We entered from beneath the operational helipad and followed the patient route through decontamination and treatment areas. We eventuallky exited using the emergency exit which emerges in the main hospital.