In­dia hospi­tal fire death toll hits 20

Three staff sus­pended after deadly blaze

Kuwait Times - - INTERNATIONAL -

NEW DELHI: Three staff at an In­dian hospi­tal have been sus­pended after a deadly blaze in the in­ten­sive care unit, au­thor­i­ties said yes­ter­day, as the toll from the dis­as­ter rose to 20. Fire broke out on Mon­day night in the dial­y­sis ward of the hospi­tal in east­ern Odisha state be­fore quickly spread­ing to other floors, killing 19 se­ri­ously ill pa­tients who were un­able to flee the blaze. An­other pa­tient died in hospi­tal yes­ter­day after be­ing rescued from the burn­ing build­ing, said po­lice in­spec­tor Sharat Ku­mar Sahu. “The toll is now 20 as one more per­son has suc­cumbed to his in­juries,” he said. “We can also con­firm that three mi­dlevel hospi­tal staff have been sus­pended prima fa­cie (for) neg­li­gence.”

About 40 crit­i­cally ill pa­tients were in the ICU of the SUM hospi­tal in state cap­i­tal Bhubaneswar when the fire broke out. In all more than 100 were rescued by firefighters who smashed win­dows to get them out of the burn­ing build­ing. “Some pa­tients were evac­u­ated by break­ing a win­dow on the first floor and then they were low­ered to the ground floor. And some of them were evac­u­ated through the ad­join­ing op­er­a­tion theatre which was empty at that time,” said Odisha’s health sec­re­tary Arti Ahuja. “There are about 106 peo­ple who are (now) in dif­fer­ent pri­vate and gov­ern­ment hos­pi­tals,” she told the NDTV news chan­nel.

In a sep­a­rate in­ci­dent, two peo­ple died early yes­ter­day morn­ing when a high-rise lux­ury apart­ment block in the western city of Mum­bai caught fire. Firefighters said 11 peo­ple had to be rescued from the blaze and two died of as­phyx­i­a­tion after they be­came trapped in the stair­well. The cause of the fire was not im­me­di­ately clear. Such dis­as­ters are rel­a­tively com­mon in In­dia, partly be­cause of poor safety stan­dards. In 2011 more than 90 pa­tients were killed in the east­ern city of Kolkata when a fire raged through a pri­vate hospi­tal, trap­ping many peo­ple in­side the build­ing. Most died from in­hal­ing toxic gases. Ahuja said the hospi­tal in Odisha had been sealed off and a de­tailed in­quiry would be car­ried out to es­tab­lish the cause of the dis­as­ter.

Lo­cal television sta­tions showed images of firefighters wear­ing masks smashing glass panes to enter the build­ing. Po­lice in­spec­tor Sahu said more than 100 firefighters had bat­tled the blaze for around five hours un­til it was brought un­der con­trol. Most of the crit­i­cal pa­tients were on ven­ti­la­tors and died in the blaze, he said. The state’s chief min­is­ter Naveen Pat­naik said yes­ter­day that he had vis­ited the evac­u­ated pa­tients in hospi­tal and or­dered an in­quiry into what he called a “tragic in­ci­dent”. A gov­ern­ment relief fund would bear the cost of their treat­ment, he said on Twit­ter. — AFP

BHUBANESWAR: In­dian res­cue work­ers lower a body of a vic­tim of a mas­sive fire at the SUM hospi­tal build­ing in Bhubaneswar, the cap­i­tal of coastal Odisha state. — AFP

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Kuwait

© PressReader. All rights reserved.