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Jabalpur Hospital Fire: One of Four Absconding Doctors Arrested; 2 Officials Suspended

PTI

Last Updated: August 03, 2022, 22:59 IST

Jabalpur, India

Eight persons, including four patients, died in the blaze on Monday. (Photo: News18)

Eight persons, including four patients, died in the blaze on Monday. (Photo: News18)

In the wake of the Jabalpur hospital fire that claimed eight lives, Madhya Pradesh CM Shivraj Singh Chouhan has directed the administration to conduct a review of fire safety mechanisms of all hospitals in the state

One of the four absconding doctors-cum-owners of the private hospital in Jabalpur where a devastating fire had claimed eight lives was arrested on Wednesday in Umaria district of Madhya Pradesh, police said.

Dr Santosh Soni, having a 25 per cent partnership in the New Life Multi-speciality Hospital, was arrested from the Umaria district while the search for other doctors is on, said Jabalpur Superintendent of Police Siddharth Bahuguna. The hospital’s assistant manager Ram Soni was arrested earlier. Eight persons, including four patients, died in the blaze on Monday. As per the preliminary investigation, the hospital had taken a provisional fire No Objection Certificate last March but its validity expired in March this year, he said.

“The hospital did not have adequate fire extinguishers as per the approved fire plan in the provisional fire NOC. There were no designated exit routes in case of emergency. Besides electrical safety audit was not conducted,” he said.

Police had registered a case under sections 304 (Punishment for culpable homicide not amounting to murder) and 308 (attempt to commit culpable homicide) of the Indian Penal Code) against Dr Nishit Gupta, Dr Suresh Patel, Dr Sanjay Patel, Dr Santosh Soni and Assistant Manager of the hospital Ram Soni.

In the wake of the Jabalpur hospital fire that claimed eight lives, Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan has directed the administration to conduct a review of fire safety mechanisms of all hospitals in the state. He also ordered the suspension of Jabalpur’s chief medical and health officer (CMHO) as well as fire safety officer following the blaze at New Life Multi-speciality Hospital on Monday, wherein eight people, including four patients, were charred to death and five others injured.

“Conduct an inspection of all the hospitals in the state and if any discrepancy is found in the fire safety measures, then cancel the licence of such hospitals immediately. It is absolutely necessary to have fire-NOC, electrical safety and building permission for the hospitals to prevent the recurrence of such incidents,” Chouhan said. He was addressing senior ministers and officials during a virtual meeting held on Tuesday evening to review the situation after the Jabalpur fire incident.

State Urban Administration and Development Minister Bhupendra Singh, Health and Family Welfare Minister Dr Prabhu Ram Choudhary, Medical Education Minister Vishvas Sarang were among those who attended the meeting, an official said on Wednesday. Jabalpur divisional commissioner and other officials were also present.

During the meeting, the chief minister ordered suspension of Jabalpur’s CMHO Ratnesh Kurariaya and fire safety officer Kushlesh Thakur, the official said. Chouhan also called for framing short-term and long-term fire safety policies.

“A uniform policy should be implemented for hospitals, hotels and multi-storey buildings,” he said, directing the departments concerned to conduct joint-inspection to ensure that all safety measures are in place. The preliminary probe into the Jabalpur hospital fire tragedy has revealed several shortcomings regarding safety and it was found that the fire No Objection Certificate (NOC) of the facility of New Life Multi-Speciality Hospital had expired, state Home Minister Narottam Mishra had said on Tuesday.

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first published:August 03, 2022, 22:59 IST
last updated:August 03, 2022, 22:59 IST