The Patients Relation Officer of SUM Hospital-cum-medical college, where at least 20 people died and several others critically injured after a major fire broke out in ICU and dialysis ward, on Tuesday said that there was no lapse on the hospital management’s part, adding that the exact reason behind the tragic incident will be known only after the investigation committee submits its report.
Dr Lingraj, the Patients Relation Officer, told ANI that nothing can be said as of now. “Tomorrow an accident took place and like we are assuming, it might be short-circuit. When the smoke started emerging, we shifted the patient to different wards and to nearby hospitals. There is no need to worry. We cannot say anything right now,” said Dr Lingraj. “There is no lapse on the part of the hospital. We did whatever we could. The doctors have also started their treatment,” he insisted.
Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, who visited the Capital Hospital, where most of the injured were brought in, has ordered a probe into the incident. He inquired about the condition of the injured and directed that necessary treatment should be given to patients shifted from Sum Hospital. Patnaik also requested all private hospitals to extend treatment to the patients.
The Odisha Government has formed a three-member committee under a Revenue Divisional Commissioner (RDC) to probe the matter. Meanwhile, the Centre has extended all possible help including shifting out the patients to various hospital ensuring speedy recovery of the injured.
Union Health Minister J.P. Nadda told ANI that he was immediately called upon by Prime Minister Narendra Modi after tragedy struck at the ICU ward of the hospital, adding that the arrangements made for the patients was the top priority for the day. The fire on Monday evening rapidly spread to other areas on the same floor of the four-storey hospital building and most of the victims were in the first floor ICU of the hospital. Doctors said that most of the deaths took place due to suffocation.
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The police and fire brigade personnel along with volunteers and hospital staff on Monday launched a massive rescue operation as more than 500 indoor patients were trapped in the building. At least 10 fire tenders were pressed into service to control the blaze and over a dozen ambulances deployed to shift the critical patients to other hospitals.
The blaze was suspected to have been triggered by an electric short circuit in the dialysis ward on the first floor of the hospital.