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Odisha fire tragedy: Four hospital officials arrested

Press Trust of India  |  Bhubaneswar 

Four officials including the Superintendent of the private hospital, where a major fire claimed 20 lives, were arrested today after the government filed two FIRs alleging negligence in conduct and safety against the healthcare facility.

Those arrested are Superintendent of Sum Hospital, Pushpraj Samantsinghar, Electrical Maintenance Engineer Amulya Sahu, Fire Safety Officer Santosh Das and Junior Electrical Engineer Malay Sahu, said Commissioner of Police Y B Khurania.

Khurania said the officials were arrested on the basis of the preliminary inquiry report of the fire officer and the FIR filed by the Fire Services department at the Khandagiri police station where a case in this regard has been registered today.

The four were booked under Sections 304 (culpable homicide not amounting to murder), 308 (attempt to commit culpable homicide not amounting to murder), 285 (negligent conduct with respect to fire and combustible materials) and 34 (common intent) of the IPC, Khurania said.

Meanwhile, Director General of Fire Service, Binay Behera submitted a report to the state government on the fire that ravaged parts of the private hospital last night in which 20 people died and many were injured.

Behera in his report has mentioned that fire safety norms as per the 2013 guidelines were not followed by the hospital authorities, an official said.

A senior police official said more arrests in the case cannot be ruled out at this stage.

Earlier, two separate FIRs were lodged by Joint Director

of the Directorate of Medical Education and Training (DMET), Umakanta Satpathy and Fire Officer (Central Circle) B B Das with the Khandagiri police station, said ACP P K Patnaik.

In both the cases, allegations of negligence in conduct and safety were levelled against the Sum hospital authorities, he said adding, some other organisations have also lodged complaints against the hospital.

State Health and Family Welfare minister Atanu Sabyasachi Nayak said the Joint Director of DMET lodged an FIR against the hospital for alleged violation of provisions under Clinic and Establishment Act, 1992.

"DMET had earlier issued guidelines to hospitals and clinical establishments across the state asking them to put in place fire safety measures. Licenses of those found flouting these guidelines will be cancelled," he said.

DMET Prof P C Mohapatra, who has been leading an inquiry team, visited the hospital this afternoon and said the guilty would definitely be punished.

First Published: Tue, October 18 2016. 21:48 IST