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Death toll rises to 24 in Bhubaneswar hospital fire, AI offers free lifting to victims

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As the death toll in the Bhubaneswar’s Sum Hospital fire has risen to 24, Air India on Tuesday offered free assistance to bring the injured victims from Bhubaneswar to Delhi/Mumbai for further medical treatment.

While 14 patients were received ‘brought dead’ at the Capital Hospital, eight were ‘brought dead’ to AMRI Hospital from the fire-struck private medical facility, officials said.

The Capital Hospital Superintendent Dr. Binod Kumar Mishra said, “We have received 14 dead bodies, while five other patients have been shifted from Sum Hospital.”

SUM hospital announced Rs 5 lakh compensation for each victim and free treatment for all the injured, including those being treated in other hospitals. Amit Banerjee, vice-chancellor of Siksha O Anusandhan (SOA) university, which runs the hospital, said the hospital would extend the fullest cooperation in the two inquiries ordered by the government — one each by the Revenue Divisional Commissioner (RDC) and the Director of Medical Education and Training (DMET).

He said the cause of the mishap can be ascertained only after a proper inquiry. He said hospital staff exhibited exemplary professionalism in evacuating patients after the mishap. Otherwise, the casualty figure would have been much higher, he claimed. The university would observe a seven-day mourning but classes would be suspended only for Tuesday so as not to affect studies.

Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, who visited AIIMS, Bhubaneswar, and AMRI Hospital in the morning, said patients were recovering well. As many as 105 patients were getting intensive care treatment at nine hospitals.

Mr. Patnaik described the mishap as “very tragic“. He ordered an inquiry headed by a revenue divisional commissioner into the incident.

“Deeply anguished by the loss of lives in the hospital fire in Odisha. The tragedy is mind-numbing. My thoughts are with bereaved families (sic),” PM Narendra Modi tweeted.

According to sources, the tragedy occurred due to suffocation as the smoke spread in most of the wards soon after the fire. Most of the victims, who were on oxygen support, died.

Air India offers free assistance to bring injured in Sum Hospital Fire Mishap victims and one attendant to Delhi/Mumbai for further medical treatment.

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