After multiple blazes, Roorkee institute to conduct fire audit PGIMER - Hindustan Times
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After multiple blazes, Roorkee institute to conduct fire audit PGIMER

By, Chandigarh
Apr 01, 2024 08:22 AM IST

Audit to be conducted by Central Building Research Institute, Roorkee; fire broke out at an operation theatre (OT) of the Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education and Research (PGIMER)’s Advanced Cardiac Centre on Saturday afternoon, making it the fifth major blaze at the institute in the last five months.

A day after fire broke out at an operation theatre in Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education and Research (PGIMER)’s Advanced Cardiac Centre, the hospital’s director announced that the campus will undergo a fire safety audit by the Central Building Research Institute, Roorkee.

PGI has initiated an electrical audit of each of its buildings to prevent fire hazards or sparks caused by frequent trippings, especially during the summer season. (HT photo)
PGI has initiated an electrical audit of each of its buildings to prevent fire hazards or sparks caused by frequent trippings, especially during the summer season. (HT photo)

PGIMER director Dr Vivek Lal said, “ For the first time, a fire safety audit will be conducted at PGIMER by the CBRI Roorkee. Fire safety training of our staff is also being done regularly.”

Saturday’s fire was the fifth such incident in six months at PGIMER. In response to the latest fire incident, the PGI has initiated an electrical audit of each of its buildings to prevent fire hazards or sparks caused by frequent trippings, especially during the summer season.

In a release on Sunday, PGIMER’s deputy director (administration) Pankaj Rai said, “In response to the recent unfortunate fire incident at Advanced Cardiact Centre, a meeting has been scheduled on April 1, 2024, to assess the cause and address the concerns surrounding the incident.”

Though no casualty was reported in Saturday’s blaze, it had laid bare the systematic lapses on part of the hospital authorities that had turned the hospital into a death trap. Last year, the campus saw two major fire incidents in October. The first was a blaze at Nehru Hospital on October 10, 2023, where 424 patients, including pregnant women and newborn babies, were evacuated. Another fire followed within a week, this time at the Advanced Eye Centre, on October 16. In both cases, sparking in the UPS batteries had caused the fire. Another fire erupted near the laundry plant on November 21, 2023.

After the Nehru Hospital blaze, the PGI had installed over 1,700 new fire extinguishers, made efforts to enhance the existing sprinkler systems and redesigned the fire exit routes, besides setting up more fire alarms, but the shortage of dedicated manpower to deal with such incidents continues to be a major handicap. The PGI, which is spread over 277 acres, has just one fire officer.

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