A massive fire broke out in the ICU of Metro Hospitals and Heart Institute at Noida Sector 12 on Thursday afternoon. According to officials, 66 patients were in the hospital, including 16 in the ICU, when the fire broke out around noon. No one was seriously injured, police confirmed. All patients were evacuated, with most transferred to the hospital’s branch in Sector 11, a few hundred metres away.
The hospital has been running without a fire safety licence, which was revoked in mid-2018, said A K Singh, Chief Fire Officer (Gautam Budh Nagar). “There was an issue at the hospital’s end regarding the age of the hospital and the laws that should govern the licensing. Hence, the No Objection Certificate (NOC) required for safety equipment was not given to them. We are awaiting the directives of the District Magistrate and action will be taken accordingly,” he said.
The hospital, however, blamed the authorities for delay in issuing the NOC. Confirming that they had a valid fire-safety licence till May 2018, the hospital, in a statement, said: “We applied for renewal in April 2018 online and also sent the necessary documents to the fire office. We received a compliance letter in May, and we sent the reply that very month. We wrote another letter in July, but the NOC is still awaited.” The hospital also claimed that they had a third-party fire safety audit conducted.
The fire broke out at 12.10 pm on the second floor and swiftly spread to the third, fourth and fifth floors. Ten fire tenders were rushed to spot and the situation was brought under control.
While the hospital is yet to ascertain what caused the fire, sources said a short circuit in the wiring connected to the air-conditioning unit in the ICU sparked the blaze.
Gautam Budh Nagar District Magistrate B M Singh has ordered a magisterial enquiry to ascertain the cause of the fire: “It would be premature to say if there was any lapse on part of the hospital. The enquiry committee will also see if adequate fire safety arrangements were in place at the hospital.”
Earlier in the day, hospital chairperson Purshotam Lal claimed that the hospital had all clearances and was strictly following all norms. “Our staff, along with fire safety personnel, evacuated everyone as soon as they could. There is no clarity on the cause of fire and we will cooperate with investigations,” he said.