Around 22 patients were killed and more than 100 injured when a major fire broke out on Monday evening at Sum Hospital in Khandagiri area Bhubaneswar.
The death toll is likely to increase as details regarding the casualties were not available by the time this report was filed.
According to reports, "the fire broke out at around 6.30 pm in the dialysis intensive care unit (ICU) located in the first floor of the hospital.
Seven fire tenders were rushed to the spot to douse the flames. Besides, 13 vehicles of 108 Ambulance Services were engaged to evacuate patients to other hospitals. A few patients who suffered burn injuries were rushed to Capital Hospital and a few other hospitals in Bhubaneswar and Cuttack for immediate attention."
Reports said "some attendants and patients got injured as they tried to save their lives due to suffocation by jumping from the first floor of the building after breaking open windowpanes."
The hospital authorities said that "the mishap occurred due to electric short-circuit."
"Short circuit seems to be the reason of the fire we are looking onto it. However, we are examining how the fire mishap occurred,” said Basant Pati, deputy SP of Sum Hospital. Deputy Commissioner of Police, Satyabrata Bhoi along security personnel alsorushed to the hospital for crowd control and to assist the rescue teams.
Meanwhile, the Odisha government has ordered for a high-level probe regarding the fire accident. Previously in 2011, fire mishap took place AMRI hospital in Kolkata due to which six board members were arrested for culpable homicide. In that fire 85 patients and four staff members died.
There were 160 people inside the hospital, when the mishapp took place. Families of all the victims along with the government accused the hospital for ignoring basic fire safety laws.
AMRI is a privately-owned and posh hospital located in Dhakuria, south Kolkata.
BY M. DIVYA SRI