TIRUCHY: An oxygen cylinder exploded at the pediatric ward of Mahatma Gandhi Memorial Government Hospital (MGMGH) on Tuesday where considerable number of in-patient children were undergoing treatment.
The ward was emptied in minutes as the thunderous sound created flutter and panic. The women with their children ran out of the ward helter skelter, while some women were seen taking their children out along with the saline bottles.
Sources said that the explosion happened when one of the staff unknowingly opened a medical oxygen cylinder (a storage vessel for oxygen for breathing) at around 12.30 pm. In no time, women along with their children, who were under treatment woke up from the beds and started running towards the exit point.
Sources further added that in the melee, some women tumbled while running, but emptied the ward quickly.
“We heard a deafening sound and thought a bomb has exploded. How could we sense that it was a cylinder which burst,” said R Kamala, whose son was being treated for fever. To add to their fear, the hospital staff did not open the exit door quickly, which led some women to tumble, she added.
Staff in the department said that the incident was unfortunate but patients and relatives should not have gone out in fear. A top official of MGMGH, seeking anonymity, said that they would look into the matter and arrangements for storing oxygen cylinders in a separate room would be made.