In a terrible fire tragedy, probably one of the worst in any hospital in India, over 90 patients and staffers were killed in Kolkata’s reputed AMRI hospital. The incident took place when a terrible fire engulfed its annexed building early morning, trapping helpless patients while doctors and others fled to safety.
The tragedy unfolded at around 3.30 a.m., catching many in their sleep. Most nurses, doctors and other staffers were able to get away. But many critically ill patients suffocated to death in their hospital beds.
Relatives of victims complained that there was inordinate delay in the rescue operations. They also alleged that the medical staff at the hospital fled from the spot instead of rescuing the patients.
West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee ordered the arrest of six hospital directors while visiting the place. The Chief Minister also said later that the hospital has been closed and would be sealed by the Kolkata Municipal Corporation after completion of rescue operations. Later, industrialist SK Modi and five others on the board of the hospital in Dhakuria in south Kolkata have been arrested for being guilty of homicide, negligence and other charges,
Union Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee visited the SSKM hospital in the evening and expressed grief and shock over the fire tragedy. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh expressed grief over the tragedy and announced Rs.200, 000 as compensation to families of each of those killed.