In one of the worst fire-related incidents involving a medical facility in Odisha, at least 22 patients were killed and over 100 others injured after a major inferno raged through the Sum Hospital in Bhubaneswar last evening. The incident has certainly given a wake up call to the state government and the Centre. It also reminded us the AMRI Hospital fire incident in 2011 when a major blaze had engulfed the hospital in Kolkata 89 people, including 85 patients. The Bhubaneswar fire incident drew attention from all over the country as eminent politicians took to social media to express their condolences. As of now, both the state and the central governments have been coordinating seamlessly. As the devastating fire in Bhubaneswar hospital wrecked havoc, here is a complete gist of things that we know so far.
Reason: The blaze was suspected to have been triggered by an electric short circuit in the dialysis ward on the first floor of the private hospital which spread to the nearby Intensive Care Unit (ICU). The fire rapidly spread to other areas on the same floor of the four-storeyed hospital building.
Rescue Operation: 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, an eyewitness said.
Current Situation: While 14 patients were received ‘brought dead’ at the Capital Hospital, eight were ‘brought dead’ to AMRI Hospital from the fire-struck private medical facility, officials said. The Capital Hospital Superintendent Dr Binod Kumar Mishra said, “We have received 14 dead bodies, while five other patients have been shifted from Sum Hospital.” Meanwhile, AMRI Hospital (Bhubaneswar) unit head Dr Salil Kumar Mohanty said, “A total of 37 patients were received at our casualty ward. Our doctors have declared eight persons as brought dead.”
At midnight certain relatives of patients were still looking for their near and dear ones. AMRI has shared a helpline number for these patients 0674 6666600. For Capital Hospital its 9439991226. According to a medical officer at one of the hospitl who asked no to be named, “Dialysis patients are already weak, and some of the deaths are also from heart failures.”
PM Narendra Modi is keeping a close vigil: Prime Minister Narendra Modi has expressed deep anguish at the loss of lives. “Spoke to CM Naveen Patnaik about the distressing hospital fire tragedy. Assured all possible support from the Centre. (Also) spoke to (Union health) minister JP Nadda and asked him to facilitate transfer of all those injured to AIIMS. Hope the injured recover quickly,” Modi posted on Twitter. He also spoke to Minister of Petroleum & Natural Gas, Dharmendra Pradhan to ensure all possible help to the injured and affected.
Odisha CM Naveen Patnaik orders probe: Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik has voiced “serious” concern over the fire incident at the Sum Hospital and described the mishap as “very tragic”. He directed the government hospitals to provide necessary treatment to patients shifted from Sum Hospital and requested all private hospitals to extend treatment to the patients from ill-fated medical facility. He promised all costs of patients would be borne by the government.
“Spoke with PM @narendramodi, briefed about efforts towards treatment of injured. Senior Ministers, officials monitoring.” Patnaik tweeted.
Meanwhile, the state government has ordered a high-level probe by the Director, Medical Education and Training, into the incident. Revenue divisional commissioner, AB Ota, confirmed that an inquiry order would be filed, and a report submitted on the accident.
Petrol Minister Dharmendra Pradhan also tweeted saying that AIIMS has been advised to care for the victims, “It is important that all hospitals in Bhubaneswar-Cuttack rise to the occasion and care the victims; AIIMS, Bhubaneswar has been advised on this.”
“I have spoken to Director, AIIMS Bhubaneswar to provide all necessary support and help the patients in the best way possible.” Health Minister, JP Nadda informed over Twitter.
With additional inputs from PTI