One succumbs to injuries after stampede during hospital fire
Kolkata: One person was killed and at least 45 suffered injuries in a stampede that took place at the outpatient department (OPD) building of Murshidabad Medical College and Hospital when a fire was spotted in a hospital room on Wednesday morning.
Hospital authorities however claimed that there was no fire and smoke was billowing out of a ceiling fan triggering panic among the patients at OPD.
The hospital started a probe on how the incident took place. It was learnt that the patients, who visited the outpatient department, spotted fire inside the room number 118 situated on the third floor of the hospital building.
The panic-stricken patients started rushing downstairs. The situation led to a chaos and a number of patients suffered injuries while climbing down the stairs.
The injured persons were admitted to the emergency ward of the hospital. A woman patient reportedly succumbed to her injuries later in the hospital. According to hospital sources, some patients are in a serious condition.
An eyewitness said the stampede occurred as the people at the hospital panicked after seeing the smoke coming out from the third floor of the hospital. Three fire tenders rushed to the spot to douse the flame. It is said the security personnel and some staff members of the hospital extinguished fire before the fire tenders arrived the spot.The security personnel told hospital authorities that no such fire incident took place inside the room and only smoke was spotted coming out of a ceiling fan inside room number 118.
Some of the patients and their family who were at the spot at the time of the incident alleged that the public address system at the hospital did not work at the time of crisis as a result of the situation went out of control. "Had there been timely announcements from the hospital authorities the incident could have been averted," said an eyewitness.
Later, fire officials inspected the room where fire was allegedly spotted and initiated a probe. They are yet to ascertain the exact cause of the incident. According to preliminary investigation, an electrical short circuit might have led to the incident.
The deputy superintendent of Murshidabad Medical College and Hospital suffered injuries after being attacked by a mob while leaving the hospital on Wednesday afternoon. Police immediately rushed to the spot and arrested 8 persons for attacking the senior official of the hospital.