Gauranga Mandal had come all the way from Bangladesh in the hope of getting back his healthy life. On Friday, this hope was extinguished with his life in a devastating fire at Kolkata's AMRI Hospital that claimed 81 lives.
Mondal, who was suffering from a neurological disorder and a lung ailment, was admitted to the well-known hospital, part-owned by the state government, last week. His family members said the 65-year-old was recuperating well until the blaze broke out.
The family members accused the hospital authorities of callousness and blamed them for the tragedy.
“We got the news from the landlord of the guest house where we are lodged now. In spite of the guest house being very near to the hospital, the authorities did not bother to inform us,” said a visibly shaken Rakkhit Roy, Mandal's grandson.
“Locals had assembled at the hospital gate to rescue the patients trapped inside the burning building. However, they were not allowed to go inside. Had they been allowed in, we would not have to see such a day,” Roy, who hails from Munshiganj in Bangladesh, told IANS.
The tragedy struck the hospital in the early hours of Friday. West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee has ordered a high-level probe into the tragedy.
The state administration, in order to lessen the grief of victims' relatives, has been asked to expedite the procedural formalities, including post-mortem examinations, so that the bodies are handed over to the families quickly.