In a chilling reminder of the 2011 AMRI hospital fire, three persons — an attendant, a patient’s relative and a child patient — died as a fire engulfed a floor of the Murshidabad Medical College and Hospital (MMCH) in West Bengal on Saturday.
About 40 others sustained injuries in the incident. According to the administration, the fire spread from the AC of a VIP cabin on the first floor. “Close to midday, we suddenly saw smoke billowing out from a room. As we barged in, we found flames leaping out of the AC machine and smoke filing up the entire room. By then, the beds and some furniture had already caught fire. But fire brigade personnel helped us to get control of flames without much delay,” said hospital employee Shine Hussain.
The state government ordered a CID probe to find out if there was any sabotage.
The victims were identified as 45-year-old Ujjwala Hazra, who was the relative of a patient, 40-year-old hospital employee Kaberi Sarkar and three-year-old patient Pallavi Mondal. Officials, however, claimed that only Hazra and Sarkar had died in the fire while Mondal passed away before the fire broke out. “Two persons lost their lives in the stampede when they were trying to come out,” said district magistrate YR Rao. Mondal’s relatives alleged she was killed in the stampede.