A huge fire that broke out at Sum Hospital, a private health care institute in Bhubaneswar at Monday evening killed 20 people and injured 100 others.
The fire started nearly 7.30 pm in the dialysis ward on the first floor possibly by an electrical short circuit and engulfed to the Intensive Care Unit and the medicine wards. While 11 patients were present in nearby ICU, seven critical patients with ventilators were admitted in the dialysis ward.
Affected patients were moved to other hospitals in the city. Arti Ahuja, health secretory said that 20 people were declared dead at Capital Hospital and five succumbed to injuries at AMRI Hospital and a total of 106 others were undergoing treatment for injuries.
State government has formed a three member committee under a Revenue Divisional Commissioner (RDC) to probe the mishap.
Atanu S. Nayak, health minister of the state said that if the hospital authorities are found guilty of negligence, strict action will be taken against them.
Official said more than 500 indoor patients were in the building at the time of incident. Most of the victims were in the first floor ICU. Doctors said that most of them died due to suffocation. Several patients and their attendants were injured while trying to escape amid the chaos and smoke. Even some of the frightened patients tried to jump from the second floor. All patients were evacuated and injured were moved to other hospitals.
Ten fire tenders were deployed to bring the blaze under control and over a dozen ambulances deployed to shift the critical patients to other hospitals. Police and fire brigade personnel along with volunteers and hospital staff launched a massive rescue operation. The fire was brought under control late at night. Binoy Behera, DGP, fire services, said that the cause of the fire is under investigation.
Expressing sorrow for the loss of life and calling the tragedy ‘mind-numbing’ PM Narendra Modi spoke to the Odissa CM Naveen Patnaik and assured help from the center.
Patnaik visited the injured in other hospitals and declared free treatment for all injured. He directed the government hospitals to provide necessary treatment to patients shifted from Sum Hospital.
Hospital’s manager, electrical and fire officers are suspended.
Behera has ordered a fire safety audit of all hospitals in the state.
On May 31, the cardiology department of state-run SCB medical college and hospital in Cuttack caught fire but over 100 patients had a fortunate escape.
In 2011, a huge fire broke out at Amri Hospital, Kolkata killing 90 people including 85 patients.