A fire broke out at a drug store in King George’s Medical University’s (KGMU) Trauma Centre in Lucknow on Saturday evening. There was no casualty. The fire was spotted around 7 pm on the second-floor drug store inside the “disaster/encephalitis ward”.
Witnesses said fire alarm at the ward did not work and authorities detected the blaze only after smoke had filled second and third floors of the six-storey building. Bloodstains on the stairs and railing leading to the upper floors of the hospital bore witness to the chaos that followed the fire, as relatives themselves attempted to rush the patients outside.
KGMU Hospital Chief Medical Superintendent S N Sankhwar said there were no patients at the drug store when the fire broke out. “We shifted around 150 patients to various hospitals such as Shatabdi, Lari Cardiology Centre and Bal Chikitsalaya. No patient was injured,” he said. Eight fire tenders and a team of 40 firemen brought the fire under control after more than two hours. “The whole ward was filled with smoke. It took us some time to reach the spot and then start extinguishing the fire,” said Lucknow Chief Fire Officer A B Pandey.
Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath directed the Lucknow divisional commissioner to conduct a probe and submit a report within three days. In a statement, he said “those responsible should be held accountable so that they could be acted against”. He also asked the commissioner to give recommendations to avoid such incidents in the future.
Balrampur resident Chhotelal stood beside his daughter Sunita’s bed outside the Trauma Centre building. “My daughter was operated upon a few days ago for damage in her intestine. Today, the doctors were putting stitches on her abdomen when smoke filled the hospital… Soon, there was no one to attend to her. I carried her downstairs with my son’s help. Her cut is still open,” he said.