AMRI fire: PM sanctions ex-gratia of Rs 2 lakh

Fire in AMRI Hospital
Kolkata, Dec 9: Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has sanctioned an ex-gratia of Rs 2 lakh to next of kin and a compensation of Rs 50,000 for those injured in the massive fire which broke out on Friday morning in south Kolkata's AMRI hospital.

Massive fire broke out in the south Kolkata's AMRI hospital on Friday morning. At least 88 casualties have been reported so far. West Bengal government cancelled the license of all AMRI hospitals in the city after the devastating fire.

"Forty one bodies have been taken to the (state-run) SSKM Hospital. Twenty other bodies are still there in an upper floor of AMRI hospital," said Mamata Banerjee, Chief Minister of West Bengal.

Mamata has ordered the police officials to charge a criminal case against the hospital management. "They will be arrested. We will take strict action against the hospital," She said.

Close to 25 fire tenders rushed to the spot and rescued approximately 160 people trapped in the building including staff and patients. Witnesses claimed that patients were evacuated in bedsheets.

The fire broke out at around 3.30 am but the fire tenders reached the spot only two hours later. The fire is suspected to have originated in the electrical department in the basement which swiftly spread to the first and second floors of the hospital because of the highly combustible materials.

Javed Khan, Fire Services Minister said that the hospital didn't have proper fire-fighting equipments.

AMRI Hospital has announced Rs 5 lakh compensation to the victims while Mamata promised Rs 3 lakh to the family of the victims who doesn't belong to the well-to-do family. She offered that if anybody appeals for a government job, that will also be looked into.

The photos of unidentified victims will be displayed outside the SSKM hospital and autopsies have been completed on 36 bodies, out of which 12 have been identified, Mamata said.

"Around 4 am when I had gone to the toilet I heard nurses saying that a portion of the building has caught fire. But they did not help me. Finally along with some other patients I came near a window. Then the fire brigade personnel came and rescued me by breaking open the glass windows," said a patient.

"There was smoke. I helped many of the patients come out of their wards. But it is my misfortune that I could not bring out two seriously ill patients," said another patient.

OneIndia News

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