Bhopal Hospital Where Fire Killed 4 Infants Didn’t Have Safety Clearance
A hospital in Madhya Pradesh’s Bhopal, where four infants died in a fire, did not have the mandatory fire safety clearance, a top official has said. The fire at Kamla Nehru Hospital could have been averted had the building kept firmly in place safety rules as mentioned in the no-objection certificate or NOC of the fire department, which the hospital did not have, the official said.
“Despite being served notice four-five times in the past six months, the Kamla Nehru Hospital management didn’t get the fire safety NOC. There are 500-600 big and small medical facilities in Bhopal that have been served notices for fire safety NOC in past six months,” Bhopal Municipal Corporation Fire Services chief KS Parihar told NDTV.
The fact that hundreds of buildings have been served notice over fire safety NOC points to a larger problem.
These buildings including the hospital where the fire broke out on Monday night had never applied for fire safety NOC, Mr Parihar said.
“Our firefighters were at the hospital within 15 minutes of getting information and the fire on the third floor was put out in an hour. But the fire safety equipment installed at the hospital was outdated and not working,” the official told NDTV.
Several attendants of the infants who were admitted at the paediatric intensive care unit or ICU have said they tried to douse the fire but the safety equipment at the hospital were not working.
Mohit Yadav, a patient’s attendant, said, “I was near the ICU. We tried using the fire extinguisher but none of them were working.”
Former chief minister Kamal Nath alleged the fire system of the hospital was not working and there were no arrangements for firefighting. The opposition Congress also blamed the government for hiding data. “The BJP government tries to suppress all such incidents. In this case, too, death figures are being hidden, as during the COVID-19 pandemic when 2.5 lakh died in the state, but the government kept suppressing the figures. This government wakes up only after some major incidents and talks of taking action as it is doing now,” Kamal Nath said.
Shailendra, 30, lost his daughter in the fire. “My daughter was supposed to be discharged today. Now I am taking her body. They are lying. Many admitted to the hospital died,” he said.
Additional Chief secretary health Md Suleman will investigate the matter. However, sources said one of the warmers in hospital developed a fault and caught fire, which spread across the 10 warmer beds.
Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan has directed renewed fire safety audits of all private and government hospitals in Madhya Pradesh.