Bhubaneswar hospital fire; Odisha CM Naveen Patnaik orders inquiry


Bhubaneswar: A day after a major fire at a hospital here claimed 22 lives, ravaged areas of the medical facility were sealed on Tuesday ahead of a thorough probe as the state government geared up to ensure proper treatment of patients shifted elsewhere.

Health Secretary Arti Ahuja, who visited the private hospital in the morning, said the Intensive Care Unit (ICU), dialysis and emergency units of the fire-hit medical facility had been sealed to ensure a proper investigation.

As many as 106 people, who were shifted from Sum Hospital following the blaze, are now undergoing treatment at different hospitals in the city, she said. Some patients have also been shifted to SCB Medical College and Hospital at Cuttack.

Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik visited some of the hospitals, including AIIMS and AMRI Hospital here, to inquire about the condition of the patients from Sum Hospital undergoing treatment there.

State’s Health Minister Atanu Sabyasachi Nayak said the priority was to provide proper treatment to the patients from the fire-hit hospital, who had been shifted to other medical facilities.

At the same time, steps were being initiated to conduct a thorough investigation into the fire that broke out on Monday night, he said. The state government has already ordered a high-level probe by the Director, Medical Education and Training, into the incident. In addition, a probe by the revenue divisional commissioner (RDC) had also been ordered, an official said.

Soon after the incident, the Health Minister had said on Monday night that stringent action would be taken if the hospital authorities were found guilty of negligence. While 22 people died, several others were injured in the incident that broke out at a dialysis unit of the private hospital, in one of the worst such incidents involving a medical facility in Odisha.

So far, 20 of the deceased had been identified and their bodies handed over to their families for cremation, an official said. Most of the victims were from the ICU of the Sum Hospital who were receiving ventilatory support. Most of the deaths took place due to suffocation, he said.

The Chief Minister has directed government hospitals to provide necessary treatment to patients shifted from Sum Hospital and requested all private hospitals to extend treatment to patients from ill-fated medical facility.

The blaze was suspected to have been triggered by an electric short circuit in the dialysis ward on the first floor of the private hospital which spread to the nearby ICU. The fire rapidly spread to other areas, including the ICU on the same floor of the four-storey hospital building.

At least seven fire tenders took around three hours to control the blaze and over a dozen ambulances were deployed to shift the critical patients to other hospitals. Besides the Capital Hospital, patients were shifted to Amri Hospital, AIIMS, Apollo Hospital, Kalinga Hospital, SCB Medical College and Hospital in Cuttack and some other hospitals in the state capital region.