At least 22 persons were reported to have died after a fire broke out in the Intensive Care Unit of a hospital in Bhubaneshwar on Monday night.
A Times of India report quoted police sources who said that the fire had broken out in the dialysis ward in the second floor of the SUM hospital around 7:30 pm and around 30 patients were in the ward at the time.
Fire broke out in ICU ward of Institute of Medical Sciences & Sum Hospital, Bhubaneswar. 5 fire tenders at the spot. pic.twitter.com/mvoZR1uGrQ— ANI (@ANI_news) October 17, 2016
The cause of the fire is suspected to be an electric short circuit and the fire spread quickly. Hospital staff moved patients quickly to get them to safety, the report said.
The hospital's deputy superintendent Basant Pati was quoted as saying in an Indian Express report that soon after the mishap they broke open the windows to prevent the suffocation of patients.
He was also quoted as saying that the hospital staff had been engaged in rescuing the patients before the emergency services arrived.
The Prime Minister tweeted promising assistance and condoling the loss of lives:
Deeply anguished by the loss of lives in the hospital fire in Odisha. The tragedy is mind-numbing. My thoughts are with bereaved families.— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) October 17, 2016
Spoke to Minister @JPNadda & asked him to facilitate transfer of all those injured to AIIMS. Hope the injured recover quickly.— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) October 17, 2016
In August, two persons were killed when a fire broke out in Murshidabad Medical College and Hospital in West Bengal. A ScoopWhoop News report found that four of Delhi's major hospitals weren't prepared for such an emergency.