Fire broke out at a super-specialty hospital, which is currently under construction, at Egra in East Midnapore on Monday morning.
The incident triggered panic among the patients visiting the outpatient department, which is already operational on the ground floor of the building.
Local people spotted smoke billowing out of the seventh floor of the building at around 11.30 am.
This spread tension not only among the patients and their relatives but the staff members of hospital
were also running helter-skelter.
The patients came out of the building as the thick smoke soon covered the area. The staff members of the hospital soon evacuated the room.
After being informed, two fire tenders were pressed into action to douse the flame.
The fire brigade faced problems dousing the flame due to scarcity of water.
The local people had started the rescue operation before the fire tenders reached the spot. They also helped to control the fire. The fire fighters later brought the situation under control after putting up an effort for few hours.
Police said that the fire soon spread to the other floors of the hospital.
The fire department said that the seventh floor had caught fire and it soon got covered by thick smoke. People who were there felt suffocated and rushed to the ground floor. Some of the staff members, who had got stuck on the floor, were rescued by the local people and the fire brigade.
Police said that a major tragedy was averted since full fledged operation had not begun in the hospital as a result of which the staff members were lesser in number.
The seventh floor of the hospital was badly damaged in the fire. According to the police, no one was injured in the incident.
As per the preliminary investigation, police suspect that the store room situated on the seventh floor might have caught fire and it soon engulfed the entire floor.
Many valuable equipments have been damaged in the fire. The fire department and police are yet to ascertain the exact cause of the fire and the extent of the damage. Police and fire brigade jointly started an investigation into the incident.