PTI, 27th August 2016, BERHAMPORE: Two persons were killed and some others injured in a stampede after a fire broke out in the Murshidabad Medical College Hospital today, triggering panic among patients and their relatives.            

“Two women, both nursing aides, died in the stampede following the incident of fire which broke out at 11.50 AM at the hospital. Some others are injured, but we are yet to receive details,” Director of Health Services Biswaranjan Satpathy told PTI in Kolkata.     
Giving details, Satpathy said that a fire broke out in the AC machine of a vacant VIP cabin at the main medical ward of the hospital. “Everybody tried to run away to escape from the fire which resulted in a stampede in which two ayahs (nursing aides) died,” he said.        
“Patients in the adjacent wards were immediately taken out including those from the paediatric ward and all of them were relocated to the newly built MCH (mother child) Hub,” Satpathy said.    
Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee is monitoring the situation from Kolkata, while a four-member high power team from Kolkata has been asked to rush to the site at the earliest, he said.        
A departmental inquiry has already been ordered to probe the incident, Satpathy said, adding the Chief Medical Officer of Health (CMOH) of the hospital Subhasis Saha was monitoring the situation, while a special medical team from Malda has already rushed to the spot for assistance.  
“There is no panic right now and the situation is under control,” Satpathy said. State Fire Minister Sovan Chatterjee said the blaze was now well under control.           
The firemen at the spot suspect that a short circuit in the AC machine of the VIP cabin triggered the fire. 
“Fire broke out around 11.50 am in an air-conditioning machine installed on the second floor of a vacant VIP cabin at the main medical ward,” director of Health and Services Biswaranjan Satpathi told The Indian Express. 


At least two persons were killed and more than 20 injured in a stampede after a fire broke out in Murshidabad Medical College on Saturday. The state government has ordered a CID probe into the incident.

Nursing staff Purnima Das and Mamoni Das were killed in the stampede that ensued after people tried to escape from the fire, said health officials. 

Sources said there were more than 5,000 people on the hospital premises when the incident occurred. The emergency gate of the hospital was reportedly closed, so patients and hospital staff had to use only one staircase while trying to escape. It has been alleged that the fire alarm at the hospital was not functioning.
Newborns in the sick newborn care unit were brought out of the premises and kept on the lawns as their parents and hospital staff attended to them.
“Patients in the ward adjacent to where the fire broke out were immediately taken out. All of them were relocated to the newly built Mother Child Hub,” Satpathi said. “There is no panic right now. The situation is under control,” he added.
State Fire Minister Sovan Chatterjee too said the blaze was “well under control”.
Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee is learnt to be monitoring the situation from Kolkata and has asked police, fire and health departments to submit reports about the incident.
R S Shukla, Principal Secretary, Health, said, “A team from the health department has been sent to the hospital. It will soon submit a report.”
According to sources, the state government has declared a compensation of Rs 2 lakh to the next of kin of both victims and free treatment for the injured.
Family members of the patients have alleged that the hospital lacked basic fire fighting infrastructure.
Eyewitnesses said there were no fire extinguishers inside the ward and the elevator, too, was not working.

A hospital staff said it was not surprising that a short circuit in the AC machine caused the fire. “I have rarely seen any AC machines being serviced,” he said.