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73 killed in Kolkata hospital fire

9 December 2011 06:24 am - 6     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}


KOLKATA: The death toll at the Amri (Dhakuria) Hospital has risen to 73. The multi-storeyed private hospital, turned into a towering inferno in the wee hours of the morning.

The fire spread fast from the basement of the hospital, engulfing one ward after the other. While many patients died of burns, most died due to suffocation caused by carbon monoxide accumulation all over the building. About 50 bodies have been sent to the SSKM Hospital where post mortem has already been conducted on 42 bodies.

The worst affected were the ICU patients who did not die of burns but due to asphyxiation. Experts have said that since the hospital building is surrounded by a glass facade, the accumulated gas could not escape causing so many deaths. Had there been an escape route for the gas, many deaths could have been prevented.

Till late in the day the hospital looked like a morgue as bodies lay in rows, waiting to be sent to the SSKM Hospital for post mortem. Wails of relatives filled the air as they helplessly went looking among the bodies trying to identify their loved ones. Some sat staring at the bodies, while some repeatedly tried to wake them up from their everlasting sleep.

The fire brigade was seen rescuing some bodies from the upper storeys. These bodies were tied up in ropes and sent down in pulleys. A large number of relatives of patients, who were still reported to be alive and sent to other hospitals of the city, complained that they were getting confusing information about where their patients have been sent.

The state government has brought criminal charges against the hospital authorities. Chief Minister, Mamata Banerjee, who was at both Amri and SSKM Hospital since the morning, organised for the rescue of the bodies and ensured that they were sent to SSKM speedily for post mortem.

The hospital authorities remained elusive for a long time. Later, a senior official, Satyabrata Upadhyay, announced the list of names of the deceased and the living who have been shifted to different hospitals. The hospital has announced a compensation of rupees five lakhs to families of the deceased. In addition to this the centre and the state governments have also announced separate compensation packages. (Source: Times of India)


  Comments - 6

  • srilankan Friday, 09 December 2011 07:18 AM

    what a sad story. May they attain nibbana

    rifaq Friday, 09 December 2011 10:56 AM

    so sad and these kind of authorities should be punished

    rumi Friday, 09 December 2011 10:56 AM

    state govt should take responsibility for failure in implementing safety measures. my condolences for families affected.


    Sammy Friday, 09 December 2011 12:45 PM

    It is such a shame that basic precautionary fire related facilities were not available in a modern hospital. It is always a case of shutting the stable door after the horse has bolted, in our part of the world.

    Upul Friday, 09 December 2011 03:27 PM

    A question for our authorities... Are all the hospitals here are hazard free? Now I fear being unconscious in a hospital!

    Ajith Saturday, 10 December 2011 05:36 AM

    People go to hospital to get cured not to get killed..Hospital Authorities should be prepared for disaster like this, there should be strict standards enforced to avert these kind of disasters.. Hope Sri Lankan authorities are learning lessons from this... Our deepest sympathies to friends and families who lost their loved ones...

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