At least two people have died and several injured after a fire broke out at a government hospital in West Bengal’s Murshidabad district.
“Two causalities were reported. Fire has been brought under control. There is no need for panic”, Chief Medical Officer of Behrampur Medical College S Saha said.
Several patients, including children from a ward next to the site of the fire, have fallen ill because of smoke inhalation.
The fire was contained after almost three hours. Many patients are lying in the open with relatives holding saline bottles; some have been put up in in other wards.
Some locals climbed up trees to break windows of the hospital and rescue patients.
The fire broke out at around noon at the medicine department of the third floor of a building apparently from an air conditioner short circuit. As flames and smoke engulfed the floors. panic gripped the children’s ward on the same floor.
The two women were killed in the stampede and smoke inhalation, according to initial reports.
Some locals climbed up trees to break windows of the hospital and rescue patients. Three fire engines were rushed to the spot.
Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has ordered an investigation into the reasons behind the incident. There have been reports that the lone staircase was too narrow and the emergency gate’s keys could not be found in the melee.
A medical team has been rushed to Behrampore from Kolkata and neighbouring Malda district.
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