WARANGAL: Fire broke out in Rohini Super Speciality Hospital, one of the oldest private hospitals here, on Monday evening forcing the hospital staff to shift about 190 patients, including some of them from ICU and operations theatres, to other hospitals. The fire claimed the lives of at least two patients, one of which was confirmed by district collector Amrapali Kata, even as the district administration has constituted a committee to look into the cause of the accident and whether all fire safety guidelines were followed.
Initial reports suggested that some fire safety measures like installation of fire hose and others were in place but they didn’t work at the crucial time.What was most shocking was the manner in which the doctors reacted to the fire. Sources said that the doctors, who were operating on a 50-year-old J Kumaraswamy of Chityal mandal of Bhupalpally district, reportedly left the patient on the bed and fled from the operation theatre. Kumaraswamy was later brought out of the operation theatre by the fire services personnel but by then, he died of suffocation.
Another elderly woman Mallamma, who was shifted to MGM hospital, died while undergoing treatment.There were 192 in-patients in the hospital when the fire took place. Over 30 ambulances were used to shift patients to other hospitals in the city.According to hospital authorities, the fire broke out in the operation theatre situated on the third floor at around 4.30 pm when the staff were replacing an oxygen cylinder. “Suddenly, the gas started leaking and fire broke out. Within minutes, the entire operation theatre was engulfed in fire and smoke spread to other rooms,’’ the hospital staff claimed.
However, district fire officer P Keshavalu said they would conduct a thorough probe to know the exact reason for fire. Many patients were seen taking patients in wheel-chairs along with oxygen cylinders. The patients who underwent surgery and were in ICU were the worst affected as there were fears that they might develop complications due to smoke. Deputy chief minister Kadiam Srihari, Warangal Urban district collector Amrapali Kata and commissioner of police G Sudheer Babu visited the hospital.
Srihari and Amrapali said a thorough probe would be ordered into the incident and action would be initiated against the hospital management.
‘Patient left unattended to for 30 minutes’
Doctors and paramedical staff came under severe criticism for after one person died in the operation theatre due to suffocation. One Kumarswamy, was given anaesthesia and was taken to the operation theatre, but as the fire broke out the man died of suffocation. It is learnt that he was left unattended for over 30 minutes. The family members alleged that if the doctors had not ran for their lives from the operation theatre they could have saved the patient’s life. However, doctors claim that if they would have not left the place even they would have died as the fire spread very fast.