A major fire broke out at the Metro Hospital and Cancer Institute in east Delhi’s Preet Vihar on Saturday afternoon. According to the Delhi Fire Services (DFS), 54 patients were safely rescued from the hospital premises. Some patients reportedly sustained minor injuries, sources said.
According to a senior DFS official, the fire broke out in the air conditioning vent. “The fire was caused by a short circuit on the second floor of the building. The blaze eventually spread to the other floors,” the official said.
The DFS said they received a call about the fire at 3.20 pm. “We had sent five water tenders and one water bowser initially to the spot. But as the fire spread, 12 more fire tenders were dispatched,” an official said.
Officials said a skylift was also sent to the spot to help evacuate patients, while 15 CATS ambulances and 15 Metro Hospital ambulances tended to those rescued.
Deputy Commissioner of Police (east) Omvir Singh, along with local DC Kulanand Joshi, also reached the spot to oversee rescue efforts.
Deputy Fire Chief Atul Garg said, “We had to keep searching for other patients who were trapped inside the hospital, which was choked with smoke by then.”
By the time the DFS had reached the spot, the fire spread to the top floors. Firemen had to break the windows of the ICU, located on the second floor, in order to rescue several patients.
“There was complete chaos at the hospital. People were running towards the exit, while several others were trapped inside, shouting for help. We planned the evacuation enroute to the hospital. Once we reached, we managed to break open the windows and rescued the patients,” said a DFS fire fighter.
Staff from Preet Vihar police station, located adjacent to the hospital, had also mobilised a team to rescue those trapped inside. Furthermore, the traffic police also helped clear the roads to ensure that fire fighters reached the hospital on time.
The DFS managed to control the fire by 4.15 pm. The blaze was finally put out by 4.50 pm, officials said. Police helped shift the patients to the hospital’s Noida branch.
Fire officials are currently undertaking cooling operations at the spot. A report will also be prepared to ascertain the extent of damage at the hospital, officials said.