Short circuit led to the fire at Metro Heart Institute; DM orders inquiry
At least 100 people, including hospital staff and patients, escaped a major tragedy today when a massive fire broke out on the second floor of the Metro Heart Institute in Noida’s Sector 12.
The fire started due to a short circuit in a plug inside the high defensive unit of the hospital on the 2nd floor, where heart patients are admitted post-surgery. As patients were taken by surprise by the sudden blaze that started spreading, the hospital staffers shifted them to the ICU on the same floor. However, they soon had to be evacuated from there too.
There was chaos at the hospital as the patients’ kin were entering the hospital to save them even as others were exiting to escape the fire, leading to a stampede-like situation. As heart patients started feeling suffocated, the glass panes of the hospital had to be broken on three floors to ensure the patients trapped inside could breathe. Many patients had to be shifted to other hospitals.
No casualty was reported while it took nearly two hours to safely rescue the patients, who were shifted to nearby hospitals, and other occupants. The district magistrate has ordered a probe into the matter. “The inquiry committee will include senior police and administration officials who will submit a report in next 15 days,” he said.
Prima facie, it appears to be a short circuit which led to incident, police said.
According to a senior fire department official in Noida, the fire broke out around 11:30 am, following which 10 fire tenders were rushed to the spot.
"Initially four fire tenders were rushed to the spot and when a team reached the location, they found thick smoke coming out from the hospital building. After a period of time six more fire tenders were called to the spot," said a senior fire official.
He further stated that after finding that around 60 patients being stuck inside the hospital, special rescue teams were formed. "With the help of the internal hospital staff and fire personnel, patients were rescued and rushed to the nearby hospital by the hospital," said Dr Purshottam Lal, Chairman of Metro Hospital.
Due to fire, lifts in the hospital had stopped and the staircases had also become inaccessible due to the smoke. The window panes had to be smashed to pull out the people trapped inside. The hospital used a dozen ambulances for the patients admitted on the 5th floor. The fire damaged instruments, furniture and the accessories fitted in the hospital.
"The fire was doused around 2 PM,” said fire official.
According to locals, when the fire broke out several people in the area helped hospital staff in evacuating the hospital premises till the fire department and police arrived.
“As I saw thick smoke coming from the building, I parked my car and ran towards the hospital. The police official had also arrived by then and patients were evacuated. I helped three patients during the evacuation,” said Vaibhav Mishra, a rescuer.