Two die in stampede after fire breaks out in Murshidabad Hospital
According to a senior official of the health department, two women, an attendant and another a relative of a patient died after they received injuries during the stampede. Principal Secretary of the health department RS Shukla said that the situation was under control and said every hospital’s fire fighting regulations will be checked.
Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has formed a special team headed by Chandrima Bhattacharya, Chairperson of the West Bengal Medical Service Corporation and Tridib Banerjee, chairperson of the Special Task Force on health as its member to probe into the incident. She also asked state transport minister Suvendu Adhikari who is in charge of the party in the district to visit to the hospital. Chief Minister also announced a compensation of Rs two lakh to the next of kin of the deceased. The state government will also bear the cost of treatment of all the injured people.
Banerjee has said that those who are found guilty in connection with the fire incident would not be spared. She would take steps following the submission of the report by the special team on the basis of its findings and the observations relating to the incident. It was learnt that senior officials of the fire department were also in the team.
According to the unconfirmed sources, a baby also died after he had received injuries while being rescued from the paediatric ward situated on the third floor of the building resulting in a stampede as all the people had to use one staircase of the hospital at the time of the incident. The state health department has not, however, confirmed the death of the baby. According to the officials two women so far have died after they received injuries in the stampede.
The incident has brought to light some serious lapses in the fire fighting mechanism of the hospital. According to Dr Subhasis Saha, the Chief Medical Officer of health in the district said that people got panicky after fire was spotted at the building. As there was panic people were rushing towards the staircase to save their lives and hence there was a stampede and people got injured. The patients were removed from the building.
Several babies received injured, some of them critically, while being rescued from the building. As the paediatric ward was situated on the second floor of the building just next to the floor where the fire took place, there was tension among the patients, relatives and the hospital staff members.
Hospital staff members also received injuries in the incident. The situation turned worse as various doors and an emergency staircase were locked and people could not use them at the time of crisis.
The fire department officials extinguished the fire on a war footing and brought the situation under control within few hours. The fire department suspect that the overloading could have been cause of the fire at the AC machine. It may be mentioned that three years ago there was a fire incident at the SNCU of the hospital. Meanwhile, the Home Secretary has ordered a CID probe into the incident.