More than 200 patients had to be evacuated from Noida’s Employees’ State Insurance hospital, after the the batteries in the server room in the basement caught fire. According to fire officials, no casualty was reported.
The hospital reported that thick smoke was noticed at 9.15 am, following which the entire building was evacuated.
Dr R K Kataria, medical Commissioner of ESI hospitals, said: “The batteries in the server room caught fire and the smoke spread across the hospital through the central air conditioning system. The hospital staff had evacuated the patients by the time the fire brigade arrived.”
Dr Kataria said, “There were 236 patients, out of which 41 were referred to private hospitals, ESI hospitals and government hospitals. Around 19 patients are here and we have created a temporary ward for them. Rest of the patients were stable and they were discharged.”
Some patients said they did not hear the fire alarm ring. Devender Kumar (30), a security guard, who was at the hospital seeking treatment for his injured legs, claimed: “The fire alarms did not go off. The firewall tank did not have any water either.”
The fire department of Sector 2, Noida had pulled up the hospital in July last year for lack of a functional fire system. Kamlesh Kumar Mishra, head of Sector 2 fire station, said, “The hospital was given an NOC on October 13, 2018. In July last year, we inspected it again and found many things missing… sprinklers were not working.”
Union Minister of Labour and Employment Santosh Kumar Gangwar visited the hospital, and inspected the server room and met some patients. He said, “We are inquiring into the incident.”
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