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Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Oct 18:

In the aftermath of the devastating fire tragedy at a private hospital in Odisha capital yesterday, the state government today decided to conduct fire safety audit at government-run healthcare facilities.

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The state government decided this after a review meeting here where Director General of Fire Services department Binay Behera submitted his preliminary probe report on the fire mishap at Institute of Medical Sciences and Sum hospital to Chief Secretary Aditya Prasad Padhi that killed 20 patients and left over 100 injured.

The inferno at the private hospital here is said to be a biggest hospital tragedy in the state. In wake of the worst-ever tragedy, the state government has fastened its belt to ensure fire safety measures at government hospitals.

“Fire safety audit at government hospitals in district, sub-divisional level and medical colleges would be conducted. The fire safety measures at places particularly with electrical installations will be reviewed. One month time has been given to Energy and Works department to submit their requirements after inspection,” Chief Secretary Aditya Prasad Padhi said.

The top Fire department official submitted his report based on an on-field investigation this morning. Behera visited the hospital to ascertain the reasons which led to the massive tragedy.

As per highly placed sources, the attendees discussed the findings of the probe report. However, the source refused to divulge the details of the content.

“The Sum hospital authorities ignored most of the recommendations of the Fire safety audit conducted in 2013 for which firefighting was difficult during the mishap. Fire safety measures at sub divisional government hospitals were discussed. We are trying to put the safety apparatus in place in government hospitals first then in other hospitals in due course,” Fire Services DG, Binay Behera said.

Fire Services DG Binay Behera, Health Secretary Arti Ahuja, Energy officials, BMC Commissioner Krishan Kumar and Khurda Collector Niranjan Sahoo were present in the review meeting.

It may be recalled that 20 patients undergoing treatment at the hospital died due to asphyxiation owing to the massive fire that originated from the dialysis ward and spreading to the ICU on the first floor. In the incident, over 100 others sustained injuries and were shifted to various government and private hospitals.