NOIDA: A fire broke out in Metro Hospital & Heart Institute in Noida’s Sector 12 on Thursday afternoon, trapping scores of people, including patients, inside the multistorey building.Rescuers broke windows and glass of the façade to evacuate the patients trapped inside the building. Sixty-six patients, including 16 in the ICU, were inside the hospital at the time of the blaze, according to the hospital authorities. Over 65 people were evacuated and shifted to a branch hospital in Sector 11.
The blaze was brought under control by 10 fire engines within an hour.Gautam Budh Nagar district magistrate BN Singh ordered a magisterial inquiry into the incident. “An inquiry (panel) will be set up to ascertain whether the hospital had fire clearance and also to pinpoint the cause of fire,” he said. “Fire safety and preparedness in other hospitals will be checked. Violators will be dealt with strictly.”
Chief Fire Officer (CFO) Arun Kumar Singh said the hospital was functioning without a fire licence, which had expired more than five months ago. However, hospital chairperson Dr Purshotam Lal said all fire safety measures were in place in the building. “We evacuated everyone as soon as we could. There is no clarity on the cause of the fire, yet.”
The second, third and fourth floors were the worst affected by the fire. Thick smoke billowed out of the building as staffers and rescuers evacuated the patients. People stood on ledges as rescuers tried to reach them by breaking window panes. Ladders and ropes were used to evacuate some of them.
“People were screaming even as hospital staff tried to calm everyone and bring some order in the chaos,” said Ram Kumar, an attendant of a patient. “Around 12.15 pm, we heard screams and we rushed to the lobby at the third floor. There was no light. The room was full of smoke. I ushered my in-laws to another room where there were many people. We could see the flames leap up from the second floor and were scared for our lives. But, soon the fire brigade arrived and rescued us.”
The CFO said his personnel had rescued more than 35 patients who were trapped in the building.