SUM hospital fire tragedy: JP Nadda calls for punitive action, NHRC issues notice to Odisha govt
Union Health Minister JP Nadda on Wednesday inspected the SUM hospital where a massive fire mishap had claimed the lives of at least 20 people on Monday.
Bhubaneswar: Union Health Minister JP Nadda on Wednesday inspected the SUM hospital where a massive fire mishap had claimed the lives of at least 20 people on Monday and assured full help to kith and kin of the victims and those injured in the tragic incident.
Prima facie I found some safety issues which need to be addressed, people's faith need to be reposed, JP Nadda said.
We see some protocol breach in the incident. Inquiry report will come soon. State govt should take punitive action, Nadda added.
The health minister made these remarks shortly after arriving here to take stock of the situation arising out of Sum hospital fire tragedy that happened on Monday evening.
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Meanwhile, the NHRC today issued a notice to the government of Odisha over fire in connection with the tragedy.
However, massive protests erupted in the state capital with the protesters demanding the arrest of SUM hospital authorities and adequate compensation.
The fire tragedy at SUM hospital in Bhubaneswar killed at least 20 persons while several injured.
According to reports, the minister also held a review meeting with the central and state government health officials on the latest situation immediately after arriving here from New Delhi at 10 am.
Nadda will also visit AIIMS, Bhubaneswar to supervise the treatment of injured persons in the fire tragedy before leaving Delhi in the afternoon, said a release.
Notably, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had directed Nadda to monitor the situation and provide all support to the state government for treatment of injured patients.
Meanwhile, the superintendent of Sum Hospital and three others were arrested by Khandagiri police for the incident yesterday.
Those arrested are Superintendent of Sum Hospital, Pushpraj Samantsinghar, Electrical Maintenance Engineer Amulya Sahu, Fire Safety Officer Santosh Das and Junior Electrical Engineer Malay Sahu, said Commissioner of Police YB Khurania.
Khurania said the officials were arrested on the basis of the preliminary inquiry report of the fire officer and the FIR filed by the Fire Services department at the Khandagiri police station where a case in this regard has been registered today.
The four were booked under Sections 304 (culpable homicide not amounting to murder), 308 (attempt to commit culpable homicide not amounting to murder), 285 (negligent conduct with respect to fire and combustible materials) and 34 (common intent) of the IPC, Khurania said.
Also, the Director General of Fire Service, Binay Behera submitted a report to the state government on the fire that ravaged parts of the private hospital last night in which 20 people died and many were injured.
Behera in his report has mentioned that fire safety norms as per the 2013 guidelines were not followed by the hospital authorities, an official said, as per PTI.
A senior police official said more arrests in the case cannot be ruled out at this stage.
Most of the deaths in the four-storey hospital took place due to suffocation and asphyxiation, a senior official said, adding that majority of the patients at the ICU were on ventilator support.
The authorities of the Siksha 'O' Anusandhan University (SOU), which runs the Institute of Medical Sciences and Sum Hospital, announced an ex-gratia of Rs 5 lakh each to the victims' families.
SOU vice-chancellor Amit Banerjee told reporters that ICU and dialysis unit of the hospital have been sealed to ensure a proper investigation.
The blaze was suspected to have been triggered by an electric short circuit in the dialysis ward on the first floor which spread to the nearby ICU.
The fire rapidly spread to other areas on the same floor of the hospital building.