Centre to stand by WB at this hour: Pranab

Pranab Mukherjee visited the fire-ravaged AMRI hospital and the state-run SSKM hospital, where most of the injured patients were admitted, and assured the West Bengal government that the Centre would stand by it at this hour.

Last Updated: Dec 10, 2011, 21:37 PM IST

Kolkata: Union Finance Minister Pranab
Mukherjee on Saturday visited the fire-ravaged AMRI hospital and
the state-run SSKM hospital, where most of the injured
patients were admitted, and assured the West Bengal government
that the Centre would stand by it at this hour.

"Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has been handling the
situation deftly and I assure the West Bengal government that
Centre will stand by it at this hour of crisis," he told
reporters during visit to the two hospitals.

Lamenting that many patients who came for treatment could
not return home alive, an emotional Mukherjee said, "No word
can be enough to console the bereaved families, but my heart-
felt sympathies for them."

"I have learnt those who were in ICU and Orthopaedic
patients could not escape. (It is tragic that) such a large
number of people died!" he said.

About the rescue work by locals, he said, "I was informed
by the councillor that the people of nearby Panchanantala
rescued 50-55 patients from smoke-filled floors and saved
their lives and rushed them to the nearby hospital at
Mukundapur area. It`s a laudable role."

The devastating fire at the multi-speciality private
hospital claimed 90 lives.

PTI