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Day after, Kolkata mourns

kolkata Updated: Dec 11, 2011 00:21 IST
HT Correspondent

West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee on Saturday said the state government would order a judicial probe into the AMRI Hospital fire accident even as six directors of the institution were remanded in police custody for 10 days.

"We have decided to order a parallel judicial probe (apart from the one by the detective department) into the accident. I am not declaring the name of the judge who will conduct the probe and how many members will be there. (The names) will be announced in the assembly on Monday," Banerjee said at state headquarters.

Meanwhile, magistrate SM Shahnawaz Khan directed the Kolkata police to produce RS Goenka, SK Todi, Manish Goenka, Prashant Goenka, Ravi Todi and DN Agarwal before the court on December 20.

The custody was for "deliberately not taking precautionary measures to avoid fire", which has caused the death of 91 patients so far.

The patients died mostly due to suffocation.

Banerjee has also constituted a special legal team comprising senior advocate Kalyan Bandyopadhyay, high court public prosecutor Debasish Roy and assistant public prosecutor Rajdeep Majumdar, who represented the police.

On the other hand, the forensic team could not collect samples from the basement of the hospital because it was flooded with water. Water was allowed to stay to cool the basement.

Scientists from the Bhabha Atomic Research Centre visited the spot again on Saturday to detect evidence of radiation hazards from a nuclear medicine unit. They did not say anything on the matter.

On Saturday, LIC opened a stall to disburse payments for the dead and the injured.

State health secretary Sanjay Mitra said his department would check each licence issued by the fire department before giving approval to any existing and new hospitals and clinical establishments.

Mitra directed senior health department officials to make sudden visits to hospitals and check safety measures being observed by the authorities.