A fire broke out at an empty operation theatre of Apollo Gleneagles Hospitals in Kolkata’s EM Bypass on Monday, but no casualty was reported. Sources said the blaze broke out around 9.15 am at the OT located on the first floor. The cause of the fire is yet to be ascertained. Fire officials said that thick black smoke was seen billowing out from the windows. Police said an Auxiliary Fire Operator, Suvendu Panda, of Maniktala fire station fell sick after inhaling the smoke.
State Fire minister Sovan Chatterjee, who rushed to the hospital, told mediapersons: “We suspect that the smoke-locking system was not working… Though no patient was injured, we cannot take the lives of people so lightly. There will be an enquiry and legal action to be taken.”
Meanwhile, the state fire department lodged a complaint at Phoolbagan police station against the hospital, which claimed that the fire was brought under control by the Apollo staff before the arrival of the fire brigade, a claim dismissed by the fire department. The department has asked the police to lodge an FIR against Apollo and also find out if the hospital adhered to fire safety norms.
Initially, Apollo, issued a statement, saying that the fire was brought under control by the hospital’s fire safety team before the fire brigade reached. But, later in the evening, it issued another statement, saying that the fire brigade managed to douse the fire swiftly. “We are thankful to the (police and fire) departments and our safety team that prevented this incident from turning into a major one,” the statement said.