Bhubaneswar: At least 22 people were killed and nearly a dozen others injured in a massive fire that broke out in one of the largest private hospitals here on Monday night, media reports said.
The fire reportedly broke out around 7 pm in the dialysis ward on the first floor of Sum Hospital and quickly spread to other areas, including the ICU on the same floor.
The police and fire brigade personnel along with volunteers and hospital staff launched a massive rescue operation to shift the patients to safety.
Seven fire tenders were pressed into service to douse the inferno which broke out in the four-storey hospital building.
Many patients were reportedly rescued by breaking the window panes.
— ANI (@ANI_news) October 17, 2016
"We launched the fire fighting as well as rescue operation in a big way. The personnel of three fire stations of Bhubaneswar were engaged in the operation," Director General, Fire Service, B Behera said.
Though the fire was suspected to have erupted due to an electric short-circuit, the exact reason would be ascertained after a thorough probe, he said.
The fire was contained later.
The victims were shifted to different hospitals in the city.
The patients were shifted to nearby Capital Hospital, Amri Hospital, Apollo Hospital, Kalinga Hospital, SCB Medical College and Hospital in Cuttack and some other hospitals in the state capital region.
"So far we have received some 'brought dead' people at the Capital Hospital. However, I cannot exactly say the number of persons who have died in the incident," Health Secretary Arati Ahuja said.
However, the Capital Hospital Superintendent Binod Kumar Mishra said, "We have received nine dead bodies, while five others are in very critical condition. The toll may increase."
Meanwhile, Amri Hospital (Bhubaneswar) unit head Dr Salil Kumar Mohanty said, "A total of 37 patients were received at our casualty ward. Our doctors have declared eight persons as brought dead."
"Most of the victims were in the first floor ICU of the ill-fated Sum Hospital," said a doctor at the Capital Hospital.
CM Naveen Patnaik said that a high-level enquiry has been ordered into the accident.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who was informed about the tragedy, have asked the authorities to help the injured and the affected.
PM Modi said that he was deeply anguished by the loss of lives in the hospital fire. “The tragedy is mind-numbing. My thoughts are with bereaved families,” he tweeted.
He said that he has spoken to Union Health Minister JP Nadda and asked him to facilitate transfer of all those injured to AIIMS.
"Very unfortunate that massive fire in Som Hospital has taken several innocent lives; my heartfelt condolences for the bereaved families," Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan said.
"It is important that all hospitals in Bhubaneswar and Cuttack rise to the occasion and care the victims," he added.
— Dharmendra Pradhan (@dpradhanbjp) October 17, 2016
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
I have spoken to Director, AIIMS Bhubaneswar to provide all necessary support and help the patients in the best way possible. @narendramodi
— Jagat Prakash Nadda (@JPNadda) October 17, 2016
(With PTI inputs)