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Bhubaneswar Fire Tragedy: RTI Exposes Negligence of Hospitals Across Odisha

Jajati Karan | CNN-News18

First published: October 19, 2016, 11:54 AM IST | Updated: 1 week ago
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Bhubaneswar Fire Tragedy: RTI Exposes Negligence of Hospitals Across Odisha
TV grab of SUM Hospital, Bhubaneswar

Bhubaneswar: Two days after the massive blaze at Institute of Medical Sciences and SUM Hospitals in Bhubaneswar that claimed at least 20 lives and left many injured, CNN News 18 has accessed the RTI copy that exposes the lax attitude of private hospitals across Bhubaneswar over issues of fire safety.

Out of the 568 fully operational private hospitals and nursing homes in Bhubaneswar, Cuttack and Puri, only three corporate hospitals have statutory fire safety certificates, a note from the Director, Medical Education and Training (DMET), Odisha government read.

The name of SUM hospital was among the 99 percent hospitals that did not have fire safety certificate, according to the RTI copy that exposed the safety flaws of the hospitals across the state.

The FIR by the fire department revealed how some hospitals blatantly violated all possible safety norms, that form the prerequisite for the efficient functioning of any hospital.

SUM Hospital in Bhubaneswar flouted safety norms on multiple levels thereby putting to risk the lives of all patients in the hospital.

The hospital neither had a 25 thousand liter water tank nor a functional sprinkler system that could have been used to mitigate the disaster.

Lack of fire detection system, faulty alarm and no fire escape staircase added to the violation of norms.

Four officials, including the Superintendent, of a private hospital were arrested and four employees suspended on Tuesday, a day after the fire mishap. The arrests were made shortly after Odisha government filed two FIRs alleging negligence in conduct and safety against Sum Hospital.
Sources also told CNN-News18 on Tuesday that the hospital owner Manoj Nayak could be arrested soon.

Suspected to have started from a short circuit in the dialysis ward, fire spread quickly through the second floor of the SUM Medical College Hospital in Bhubaneswar, trapping people inside.

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