At least 23 patients died in a fire that broke out at the Sum Hospital in Bhubaneswar on Monday evening. While 20 others were injured in the incident, Revenue divisional commissioner, AB Ota said that all those being treated at various hospitals, will be given free and the best treatment possible.
Odisha Health Secretary Arti Ahuja has ordered a departmental inquiry into the incident. The health department has formed an inquiry committee consisting of the State Director of Medical Education and Training (DMET), Fire Safety Officer and Khurdha Collector as its members. A committee to inquire into the cause of the fire and whether there was any lapse on the part of the hospital authorities.
The blaze was suspected to have been triggered due to 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 then spread to other areas on the same floor.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday tweeted, “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 said on microblogging website twitter.
“Spoke to Minister @JPNadda (Health Minister) & asked him to facilitate transfer of all those injured to AIIMS. Hope the injured recover quickly.
Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik while calling the mishap as “very tragic” and directed the government hospitals to provide the necessary treatments to patients who have been shifted from Sum Hospital.
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.