Mukherjee condoles deaths in Odisha hospital fire

The Commissionerate Police also arrested ex-Executive Engineer Amulya Kumar Sahu (electrical maintenance), Fire Safety Officer Santosh Das and retired Junior Engineer Malay Kumar Sahu (electrical maintenance).

Khurania said the officials were arrested on the basis of the preliminary inquiry report of the fire officer and the FIR filed by the Fire Services department at the Khandagiri police station where a case in this regard has been registered today.

Bhubaneswar: The callousness of state administration towards implementation of safety measures has become evident through the fire tragedy that struck on Monday at the Bhubaneswar based SUM Hospital.

The Directorate of Medical Education and Training (DMET) had also lodged an FIR against them for not adhering to the fire safety norms and evacuation of patients.

Health and Family Welfare Minister Atanu Sabyasachi Nayak said the Joint Director of DMET lodged the FIR against the hospital for alleged violation of provisions under Odisha Clinic and Establishment Act, 1992.

Director General (Fire Services) Binay Behera, who visited the hospital, said a report about the incident would be submitted to the government very soon. "Had we been informed immediately, many lives could have been saved", said a fireman engaged in the rescue operation.

Ahuja said the ICU and dialysis unit of the hospital have been sealed to ensure a proper investigation. "Otherwise, the evidence and proof of the mishap will be tampered with", said Pradesh Congress Committee (PCC) president Prasad Harichandan.

The flare at SUM Hospital in Khandagiri area late on Monday began near the dialysis ward and quickly spread to others floors, filling the corridors with smoke.

Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik earlier in the day said he has ordered Revenue Divisional commissioner to enquire in to the incident.

"The toll is now 20 as one more person has succumbed to his injuries", he told AFP. "Had we not followed it the casualty would have been more".

The death of 22 innocent people should serve as a bleak reminder to the authorities regarding fire safety precautions in health institutions or any of the high rise buildings that are springing up rapidly in and around the city.

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