Twenty two people have been killed and dozens more injured in a major fire that broke out at Sum Hospital, a private healthcare institute, in Bhubaneswar, Odisha, late on Monday.
The fire broke out at around 7.30 pm in the dialysis ward on the second floor of the hospital. "Most of the victims were in the first floor ICU of the ill-fated SUM Hospital," a doctor at the Capital Hospital, where 14 patients were "brought dead," was quoted as saying to the Hindu. Eight others were "brought dead" to AMRI Hospital. Those who complained of difficulty in breathing have been shifted to other hospitals and some are in critical condition.
Several people were injured while trying to escape amid the chaos and smoke. According to the police, some of the frightened patients even tried to jump from the second floor.
"Out of panic, some people were attempting to jump to rescue themselves. We prevented them from doing so and rescued them," the Times of India quoted a police officer as saying.
Ten fire tenders were deployed to bring the blaze under control, but they were able to do so only later in the night.
Although as of now the cause of the fire has not been ascertained, sources are speculating that an electrical short circuit may have sparked the fire. "The cause of the fire is being investigated," Odisha fire services DGP Binoy Behera.
Behera has ordered a fire safety audit of all the hospitals in the state.
Meanwhile, three officials of the Sum Hospital comprising the manager and the hospital's electrical and fire officers have been suspended.
Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik visited Sum Hospital and took stock of the situation and ordered Revenue Divisional Commissioner level probe into the mishap.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi spoke with the Odisha CM and assured all help in dealing with the tragedy. He expressed anguish at the loss of lives in the incident and asked Health Minister JP Nadda to facilitate transfer of all those injured to AIIMS hospital.
"I have spoken to Director, AIIMS Bhubaneswar to provide all necessary support and help the patients in the best way possible," Nadda tweeted after the incident.
The helpline numbers for Amri hospital is 06746666600, Extension 7082,7030.
Air India also offered free assistance to bring injured victims to Delhi or Mumbai for further medical treatment.