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Odisha fire: Four officials arrested, 100 patients moved to other hospitals

india Updated: Oct 18, 2016 22:47 IST
Hospital officials

Damaged emergency ward of SUM Hospital in Bhubaneswar on Tuesday.(PTI)

Four officials, including the superintendent, of a private hospital were arrested and four employees suspended on Tuesday, a day after a massive blaze claimed 20 lives and left many injured.

More than 100 patients, mostly from the ICU and dialysis units, were shifted elsewhere for treatment.

While 20 deaths were officially confirmed, authorities of different hospitals where the injured were shifted last night put the toll at 22 after the devastating fire broke out in the SUM Hospital here.

Read | Fire mishap: Odisha govt files FIRs against Bhubaneswar hospital

The arrests were made shortly after Odisha government filed two FIRs alleging negligence in conduct and safety against SUM Hospital.

Two separate FIRs were lodged by joint director of the directorate of medical education and training (DMET) Umakanta Satpathy and fire officer (central circle) BB Das with Khandagiri police station.

Those arrested were superintendent of SUM Hospital Pushpraj Samantsinghar, electrical maintenance engineer Amulya Sahu, fire safety officer Santosh Das and junior electrical engineer Malay Sahu, commissioner of police YB Khurania said.

Khurania said the four officials were arrested on the basis of preliminary inquiry report of the fire officer and the FIR filed by Fire Services department at Khandagiri police station where a case in this regard has been registered today.

Read | Hospital fire: Survivors thank luck, but critical patients perish

The four were booked under Sections 304 (culpahbel 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, the police Commissioner said.

Meanwhile, 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 the fire safety norms as per the 2013 guidelines were not followed by the hospital authorities, an official said.

A senior police official said more arrests in the case cannot be ruled out.

Earlier, two separate FIRs were lodged by Joint Director Earlier, two separate FIRs were lodged by Joint Director of the Directorate of Medical Education and Training (DMET), Umakanta Satpathy and Fire Officer (Central Circle) B B Das with the Khandagiri police station, said ACP P K Patnaik.

Read | Bhubaneswar hospital fire: Safety measures not yet in place

In both the cases, allegations of negligence in conduct and safety were levelled against the Sum hospital authorities, he said adding, some other organisations have also lodged complaints against the hospital.

State Health and Family Welfare minister Atanu Sabyasachi Nayak said the Joint Director of DMET lodged an FIR against the hospital for alleged violation of provisions under Odisha Clinic and Establishment Act, 1992.

“DMET had earlier issued guidelines to hospitals and clinical establishments across the state asking them to put in place fire safety measures. Licenses of those found flouting these guidelines will be cancelled,” he said.

DMET Prof PC Mohapatra, who has been leading an inquiry team, visited the hospital this afternoon and said the guilty would definitely be punished.