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Probe ordered into Kolkata hospital fire

Posted on Nov 26, 10:58AM | IANS

A day after fire broke out near the paediatric ward of West Bengal's largest state-run hospital SSKM here, the government Sunday ordered an administrative probe.

Health Secretary Satish Tiwari, who visited the hospital and met superintendent Tanal Kanti Gosh, said the probe would start soon.

"We have sought a report," he said.

Terming the fire fighting set-up in the hospital as "rudimentary", Tiwari said: "A lot of money will be needed to upgrade it."

Around 80 children admitted in the Allex ward of the hospital were evacuated through the back door after fire was noticed around 10 p.m. Smoke was billowing from the seminar room on the main building's fourth floor.

Fire Services Minister Javed Khan said the fire was caused by a short circuit in an air-conditioner.

Four fire tenders rushed to the spot and doused the flames.

A fire incident had occurred in the same hospital March 21 and dozens of critical patients had to be evacuated from the emergency OPD.

In December last year, 94 patients and staffers died when a blaze in the basement of AMRI Hospital here engulfed its annexe building with noxious smoke.