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Bhubaneswar fire: Hospital Superintendent, 3 others arrested

Four officials of the SUM Hospital were arrested on Tuesday night in connection to the fire that broke out at the hospital on Monday. 22 people were reported dead in the fire and several others were left critically injured. Bhubaneswar Police Commissioner said that SUM Hospital Superintendent and three other employees were arrested.

Odisha government on Tuesday filed two FIRs alleging negligence in conduct and safety against the private hospital, while administrative inquiries into the mishap have begun. Two separate FIRs have been lodged by Joint Director of the Directorate of Medical Education and Training (DMET) Umakanta Satpathy and Fire Officer (Central Circle) B B Das with the Khandagiri police station, said ACP P K Patnaik.

“In both the cases, allegations of negligence in conduct and safety were levelled against the Sum Hospital authorities. A case will be registered soon,” he said, adding that some other organisations have also lodged complaints against the hospital.

As many as 106 patients, who were shifted from the private Sum Hospital following the blaze on Monday night, are now undergoing treatment at different hospitals in the city, Health Secretary Arti Ahuja said, amid reports that some of them are in critical condition. Most of them were from the ICU and the dialysis unit, an official said.

Most of the deaths in the four-storey hospital took place due to suffocation and asphyxiation, a senior official said, adding that majority of the patients at the ICU were on ventilator support.

The blaze was suspected to have been triggered by an electric short circuit in the dialysis ward on the first floor which spread to the nearby ICU. The fire rapidly spread to other areas on the same floor of the hospital building.

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