140 rescued in Kanpur govt hospital fire
Over 140 patients were rescued after a fire broke out at the state-run LPS Institute of Cardiology and Cardiac Surgery in Swaroop Nagar on Sunday morning, the Uttar Pradesh government said.
According to hospital officials, two high-risk patients died in the morning but the deaths were "not caused by the fire".
"Around 7.30 am, smoke was seen billowing out of a storeroom on the ground floor. The fire was subsequently doused and the patients were shifted to another building. All the patients are safe," Dr Vinay Krishna, Director of the hospital, told PTI.
The deceased patients were Rasoolan Bi (80), a resident of Ghatampur who was suffering from acute respiratory problems, and Tek Chand of Hamirpur, who was put on ventilator support.
About the deaths of the two patients, Krishna said, "Tek Chand died around 6.30 am, even before the fire broke out. Rasoolan Bi died later. The bodies have been sent for post-mortem. Prima facie, the high-risk patients had normal deaths and the fatalities were not caused by the fire. The post-mortem will reveal the exact cause of the deaths."
Smoke filled the centrally air-conditioned building but the fire did not cause any casualty, he asserted.
Krishna said the cause of the fire was "probably a short-circuit".
"We used the fire extinguishers kept on the floor to douse the flames. Two fire-tenders were also pressed into service," he said.
The fire broke out near the intensive care unit (ICU) on the ground floor of the hospital.
"The fire broke out in a storeroom. Things are under control now and officers are on the ground. There are no casualties. Over 140 patients were evacuated," Additional Chief Secretary (Home) Awanish Kumar Awasthi told PTI.
Kanpur's Additional Commissioner of Police Akash Kulhari said a couple of fire-tenders were pressed into service to douse the flames.
Window panes on the first floor of the hospital were broken to let the smoke out, an official said.
According to Swaroop Nagar Station House Officer (SHO) Ashwani Pandey, about 175 patients were evacuated from the ICU and other neighbouring wards and shifted to other wards.
"A short-circuit is suspected to have led to the fire, but the exact reason will be ascertained only after an investigation," the SHO said.
Kanpur's Chief Fire Officer, N P Singh, said that after getting information about the fire at the cardiology institute, an alert was sounded at all neighbouring fire stations including Colonelganj, Fazalganj, and Anwarganj.
"Nine fire tenders were pressed into service and firefighters took over two hours to evacuate the patients and completely douse the blaze," Singh said and claimed that there was no casualty reported due to fire.
Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath took cognizance of the incident and directed that the evacuated patients be provided immediate care. He also sought a report from the district administration, the Uttar Pradesh government said in a statement issued in Lucknow.
The chief minister has directed a high-level team, headed by the principal secretary, health education and also comprising the director general of fire services and the Kanpur divisional commissioner, to visit the site and give its report immediately, the statement said.
He has said a campaign should be launched at the earliest to test the fire-fighting arrangements at all hospitals of the state, in accordance with the directives issued earlier to strengthen such measures.
The hospital was established in 1975. The JK Charitable Trust had donated the building for the institute and it was named as Laxmipat Singhania Institute of Cardiology and Cardiac Surgery.