SUM hospital fire tragedy: toll rises to 26

22 October, Bhubaneswar

Toll in the SUM Hospital fire tragedy Sunday rose to 26 as one more patient, undergoing treatment in a private hospital, died here.

The deceased was shifted to a private hospital after fire broke out in the hospital on October 17. Nineteen people died and more than 100 sustained injuries after the fire broke out in the dialysis ward of the SUM Hospital which later spread to the Medicine ICU and the Emergency ward. About 106 patients were immediately rescued and evacuated form the hospital and admitted to various hospitals in the city. Out of which seven have already breathed their last.

A day after the incident, four officers of the hospital including the Superintendent were arrested and later Hospital Chairman Manoj Nayak surrendered before the police after a lookout circular was issued by the police against him and his wife, both trustee of the Sikhyao Anusandhan Charitable Trust which runs the hospital.

Yesterday, Health Minister Atanu Sabya Sachi Nayak resigned from the council of ministers owing moral responsibility. The state government also de-empanelled the hospital. The hospital was empanelled under the Rashtriya Swasthya Bima Yojana and the Odisha State Treatment fund.

Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik had already ordered a high-level administrative probe by the Revenue Divisional Commissioner (Central) in to the incident and the Health Department has asked the Director Medical Education and Training and the Director to investigate in to the fire.

The Hospital authority, the state government and Prime Minister Narendra Modi have announced an ex-gratia to the deceased family members. While the hospital authorities and the state government would provide Rs 5-lakh ex-gratia each to the families of the deceased, Rs 2-lakh will be provided from the Prime Minister’s Relief Fund.

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