No emergency exit, security system at Jabalpur hospital where 8 people died in fire
There was no emergency exit or proper fire safety equipment at the hospital in Jabalpur, Madhya Pradesh, where five patients and three staff died in a massive fire this afternoon. Sources said the 30-bed hospital may have started in 2020 during the first wave of COVID-19, when authorities focused on increasing health infrastructure.
Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan has ordered a high-level investigation into the blaze, which will be carried out by a four-member panel led by Jabalpur Divisional Commissioner B Chandrashekhar.
The New Life Multi-Specialty Hospital fire started around 2:45 p.m., possibly due to a short circuit in the generator on the ground floor. It is suspected to have occurred when electricity switched on following a power outage, sources said, and quickly spread to other parts of the hospital building.
Sources said the hospital only had one door – and that too very narrow. The oxygen cylinders inside made the situation worse.
Eight people were burned alive or suffocated. Eight other people who suffered varying degrees of burns were admitted to a nearby private hospital and Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose Medical College.
Two survivors in critical condition are in the Medical College’s intensive care unit.
The Chief Minister announced an immediate payment of Rs 5 lakh each to the families of the deceased. An amount of Rs 50,000 will be given to those injured in the fire.
“Our priority at this time is to save the injured in hell but a thorough investigation will be carried out by the panel headed by the Divisional Commissioner of Jabalpur,” the chief minister said.
“The investigation will determine the reasons for the fire and those responsible for any breaches will face the strictest action,” Chouhan added.
“It was a massive fire, and our teams rescued everyone trapped inside the hospital,” said Akhilesh Gaur, Jabalpur’s chief superintendent of police.
The eight who died include Vir Singh (30), Subhati Verma (24), Mahima Jatav (23) – all three hospital staff – Durgesh Singh (42), Tanmay Vishwakarma (19), Anusuiya Yadav ( 55), Sonu Yadav (26) and Sangeeta Yadav.