At least eight people, including four patients, were killed and five others suffered injuries after a fire broke out at a hospital in Madhya Pradesh’s Jabalpur on Monday.
The blaze started at New Life Multi-Speciality Hospital in Chandal Bhata locality at around 2 pm, said officials.
Fire officer Kushagra Thakur told The Indian Express that the department received a call at 2.15 pm and rushed four fire engines and around 40 personnel to the spot.
“It appears that when the hospital authorities switched on the generator after a power outage, there was voltage fluctuation which resulted in sparks and caused the fire,” he said.
Thakur said the fire first engulfed the pharmacy on the ground floor before spreading to the upper floors, blocking the hospital’s entry and exit point.
“There were seven people who were rescued from inside the hospital but all were brought out in an unconcious state with major burn injuries. They were found in the corridors of the hospital,” added the official.
Jabalpur collector Dr Ilayaraja T said that at the time of the fire, there were fewer than 25 people in the hospital — four patients, their caregivers, and nine staff members including two doctors who were also running an OPD on the ground floor.
Among the eight dead were four patients, three staffers and one caregiver. Of the five injured, he said, two were in critical condition and admitted to the ICU of the government medical college in Jabalpur.
The collector said the hospital was registered in January 2021.
According to authorities, the hospital had applied for a provisional NOC in March 2021. But until December 2021, it had not installed any static firefighting installations such as smoke detectors, hose pipes and water tanks. It only had portable fire extinguishers.
After this, a notice was issued to the licensing authority of the hospital in December 2021 about its failure in complying with fire safety norms.
Newsletter | Click to get the day’s best explainers in your inbox
The collector added that a magisterial-level inquiry into the incident has been ordered and will be headed by an Additional District Magistrate.
Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan has announced compensation of Rs five lakh for the deceased and Rs 50,000 for those injured in the incident, officials said.