Srinagar: A massive fire broke out on Friday at an orthopedic hospital in Jammu and Kashmir’s Srinagar, forcing the administration to shift the patients to other hospitals. Fire tenders were immediately pressed into action to douse blaze in the inpatient department of the Bone and Joint Hospital in Barzulla here, the officials said.
In just 30 minutes, the upper two floors of the four-story building were engulfed in fire. At that time around 110 patients were admitted to hospital wards, among which were patients who were operated hours before. Besides, around 22 patients were admitted to the emergency ward, said an eye witness.
He added that it took no time that the whole building was in flames. As the fire engulfed the building, soon the locals residing around the hospital, mainly youths rushed to hospital premises and started evacuating the patients and the attendants with the help of hospital staff till the fire brigade, NGOs and SDRF teams reached the spot. Their combined efforts saved hundreds of patients and medical staff of the hospital, the eyewitness said.
An official said, “Preliminary reports suggest that fire started from Operation Theatre and spread due to explosion of Oxygen cylinders. However, details awaited.”
Around 20 fire brigade teams and half a dozen SDRF teams with police and locals carried out rescue operations for around 3 hours and major tragedy was averted by timely action.
Divisional Commissioner Kashmir PK Pole and Director Health Services Kashmir (DHSK), Dr Mushtaq Ahmad Rather who visited the hospital praised the immediate action taken by locals in helping the administration in the evacuation of patients from the Hospital in Barzulla.
Director Health Kashmir said, “All patients have been evacuated and shifted to various hospitals including SMHS and SKIMS Bemina.” He added “The cooperation by locals was tremendous and with their timely help all patients were safely evacuated,” all doctors and paramedics are also safe.”
An inquiry has been ordered to ascertain if there were any lapses that caused the massive fire in the hospital. PK Pole Divisional Commissioner Kashmir who along with various officers visited hospital premises said, “We will inquire where the lapse is, why the incident happened despite regular fire safety audits and adequate measures. Principal Government Medical College will inquire into the reason for the fire,” Pole said.
“The Health & Medical Education Deptt is deeply concerned and monitoring the aftermath of the devastating fire incident at B&J Hospital Srinagar,” the department said in a tweet as per sources.