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Bhubaneswar Tragedy: Hospital Fire Claims 20 Lives , Govt Orders Probe

A major fire caused by an electrical short-circuit broke out in the Institute of Medical Sciences and SUM Hospital in Bhubaneswar on Monday evening claiming at least 19 lives, sources said.


Updated:October 18, 2016, 12:09 PM IST

Bhubaneswar: An electrical short-circuit could be the reason behind the major fire in Odisha Hospital on Monday evening that claimed at least 20 lives, officials said on Tuesday.

Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, who visited Capital hospital to oversee treatment of evacuated patients, ordered a Revenue Divisional Commissioner (RDC) level probe into the whole incident.

Expressing his grief over the incident, Patnaik said free treatment would be provided to the injured persons.

"Fourteen persons were declared dead at the Capital Hospital and five succumbed to injuries at the AMRI Hospital. A total of 106 others were undergoing treatment for injuries," said Health Secretary Arti Ahuja.

"An inquiry committee has been constituted to inquire into the fire and whether the hospital authorities had taken safety measures or not." she said.

Calling the fire tragedy an accident, SUM hospital spokesperson, Dr.JR Das said, "We are confident that such an incident will not take place again,unless it is an accident. The hospital is in the process of announcing compensation for the families of the victims and expenses of the critically injured shifted to various hospitals will be borne by SUM hospital."

The fire broke out in the intensive care unit (ICU) of dialysis ward of the hospital, sources said.

Over 50 patients were rescued from the dialysis ward and the adjoining Intensive Care Unit, the officials said.

The rescued patients were shifted to All India Institute of Medical Sciences in Bhubaneswar and other hospitals, said Health Minister Atanu Sabyasachi Nayak.

CM Patnaik also spoke with Prime Minister Narendra Modi and briefed about efforts towards the treatment of injured.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi expressed deep anguish over the deaths in Odisha capital Bhubaneswar.

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

Also read: Major Fire Tragedies in Hospitals Over The Last Few Years
The probe team comprises the Khurda Collector, Director of Medical Education and Training and the District Fire Officer, she added.

About seven fire tenders were pressed into service to douse the fire.

Fire Service Director General Binay Behera said fire personnel were engaged to control the fire and carry out rescue operation.

"Rescuing the patients and those present in the hospital is our priority. We are yet to assess the damage and ascertain the source of the fire," Behera said.

Modi said he spoke to Union Health Minister J.P. Nadda and asked him to facilitate transfer of all the injured to All India Institute of Medical Sciences in Bhubaneswar. "Hope the injured recover quickly," Modi said.

Nadda tweeted: "Deeply saddened by the fire incident in Institute of Medical Sciences and SUM Hospital, Bhubaneswar. My condolences rest with the bereaved families."

Talking to CNN News 18, Nadda said: "We have told the State Government that whatever help is required, will be extended by the Central Government. If there is any situation where the patients need our help we are ready for that too.

The government has set up a helpline number: 9439991226.

Union Petroleum minister Dharmendra Pradhan informed that he spoke to Odisha Health Minister and offered all possible help to deal with this tragic incident.

Meanwhile, SUM Hospital suspended three employees and formed an internal inquiry committee to probe the lapses.

Also read: Major Fire Breaks Out at SUM Hospital in Bhubaneswar

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