Jaipur: A woman patient identified as Baba Devi, is reported to have died of suffocation after a major fire broke out at SMS Hospital in Jaipur early on Friday, creating a stampede like situation in the state’s biggest hospital.
According to preliminary reports, the fire started from a laundry room behind the oncology department of the hospital and soon engulfed the medical lifeline shop. Nearly 12 ambulances were pressed into service. It took them nearly three hours to control the fire. Prima-facie, short-circuit is being probed as the cause of fire.
The fire started around 3 am on Friday. The hospital administration immediately informed the fire department officials following which fire tenders were rushed there from different fire stations of the city. A large portion of the ground floor was engulfed in smoke by the time the fire fighters arrived at the spot, blocking the entry to the most affected areas.
“The fire started from the medical life line store on the ground floor. We didn’t have direct access to the area, so we had to break open the glass windows and a backdoor,” according to chief fire officer Jagdish Fulwari.
The fire had spread even to the second floor of the hospital; however, it was controlled before it could spread to other nearby areas.
The smoke caused panic among patients. They found difficulty in breathing and ran for safety. Senior hospital administration officials also arrived at the spot and shifted the patients to wards unaffected by the fire. Civil defence teams helped the hospital administration in the shifting.
A woman allegedly died of suffocation during the shifting. The hospital administration is however yet to official confirm the death due to the fire.
“It took us nearly three hours to douse the fire. It is completely under control now,” said the officer.