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Major Fire Breaks Out at SUM Hospital in Bhubaneswar

Major fire at private hospital in Bhubaneswar.

Jajati Karan | CNN-News18

Updated:October 18, 2016, 10:58 AM IST

Bhubaneswar: At least 19 people were killed and around 30 injured when a major fire broke out at a private hospital in Bhubaneswar on Monday night.

The blaze was suspected to have been triggered by a short circuit in the dialysis ward on the first floor of SUM Hospital which spread to the nearby Intensive Care Unit (ICU).

"Most of the victims were in the first floor ICU of the ill-fated SUM Hospital," a doctor at the Capital Hospital, where some of the critically injured were undergoing treatment, told PTI.

The commissionerate of police and fire brigade personnel along with volunteers and hospital staff launched a massive rescue operation as more than 500 indoor patients were trapped in the building, hospital officials said.

At least seven fire tenders were pressed into service to control the blaze and over a dozen ambulances deployed to shift the critical patients to other hospitals.

Many patients were rescued by breaking window panes, PTI quoted eyewitnesses as saying.

Director of the Capital Hospital, BB Patnaik, said a majority of the victims were admitted to the ICU of the four-storeyed SUM Hospital and receiving ventilatory support.

Besides the Capital Hospital, Dr Patnaik said, the patients were shifted to nearby Amri Hospital, Apollo Hospital, Kalinga Hospital, SCB Medical College and Hospital in Cuttack and some other hospitals in the state capital region.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi voiced "deep anguish" at the loss of lives, calling the tragedy "mind-numbing".

"Deeply anguished by the loss of lives in the hospital fire in Odisha. The tragedy is mind-numbing. My thoughts are with bereaved families," Modi tweeted.

"Spoke to Minister @JPNadda (Health Minister) & asked him to facilitate transfer of all those injured to AIIMS. Hope the injured recover quickly.”

"Also spoken to Minister @dpradhanbjp and asked him to ensure all possible help to the injured and affected," he said in a series of tweets.

In a phone call, Modi also assured all help to Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik.

Union Health Minister JP Nadda said he had directed at AIIMS-Bhubaneswar to assist in treating those injured. “We are deeply anguished by the incident,” he said, adding that the Centre had assured all help to the state government.

Meanwhile, Naveen Patnaik government ordered a high-level probe by the Director, Medical Education and Training, into the incident.

State's Health Minister Atanu S Nayak said stringent action will be taken if the hospital authorities were found guilty of negligence.

In 2011, a major blaze had engulfed AMRI Hospital in Kolkata, killing 89 people, including 85 patients.

(With PTI inputs)

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| Edited by: Nitya Thirumalai
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