SUM Hospital Fire: 20 Dead, 4 Staffers Arrested Including Superintendent

By Odisha Story Bureau, Bhubaneswar:


Today Odisha police arrested four employees of IMS and SUM Hospital, including its superintendent a day after a devastating fire on its premises killed 20 patients.

Earlier the state government has ordered two probes into the incident, one by the revenue divisional commissioner (RDC-north) and another by a three-member committee led by the director- medical education and training, who started their inquiries today. The state government also found serious violation of its fire safety advisory issued to the hospital in 2013.

According to Bhubaneswar-Cuttack commissioner of police Y B Khurania,

Based on the complaint of fire officer hospital’s superintendent Pushparaj Samantaray, medical’s fire safety officer Santosh Das and two electrical division employees Malaya Sahoo and Amulya Sahoo were arrested. The accused were booked under sections of 304 (culpable homicide not amounting to murder), 308 (attempt to culpable homicide) and 285 (negligent conduct of fire matters) of IPC.

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Commissioner of police further added, more arrests are likely. Police have also registered a second case against the SUM Hospital management on the basis of the complaint by joint director of medical education and training.

The state fire service directorate found massive negligence with the hospital for the tragic incident.

Fire service DGP Binoy Behera told media persons,

In 2013, we had conducted a fire safety audit in all hospitals, including SUM in Odisha. We had issued some recommendations to the SUM Hospital to improve its firefighting systems. But the hospital did not carry out some of our major recommendations for which the tragedy struck.

There are no sprinkler system, fire detection system, fire hydrant point and terrace water tank in SUM Hospital, which were recommended by the fire services wing in 2013, official sources said. Shockingly, the premier hospital does not possess fire safety certificate.

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Odisha Health minister Atanu Sabyasachi Nayak said,

The health department found the hospital disdained safety measures, including fire prevention system and patient evacuation management.
The hospital management, which suspended four employees for dereliction of duty, however, insisted innocence describing it as an unfortunate accident.

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Odisha Story Bureau
A team of young journalists headed by Subhransu Panda, founder-editor of Odisha's leading news portal and magazine Odisha Story. Mail: editor@odishastory.com