At least 22 patients died and as many as 100 were injured in a fire that broke out at the Sum Hospital in India’s Bhubaneswar city Monday evening.
The death toll may go up as the condition of 25 among the injured – five of them children — is said to be critical.
Initial reports indicated the fire may have started in the dialysis ward on the first floor of the private hospital around 7 p.m. and it then spread to the intensive care unit and emergency ward on the same floor of the four-story building, according to Press Trust of India.
Firefighters arrived in 20 minutes, with a total of seven fire tenders and 60 ambulances at the scene. The fire was brought under control by 10 p.m.
“Deeply anguished by the loss of lives in the hospital fire in Odisha. The tragedy is mind-numbing. My thoughts are with bereaved families,” Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on microblogging website Twitter.
Chief Minister of Odisha Naveen Patnaik directed government and private hospitals to provide necessary treatment to victims. The state government has ordered an investigation. In June, the state government had instructed hospitals and nursing homes to strictly follow fire safety guidelines.