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89 killed in India hospital fire

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89 killed in India hospital fire

Post by DJay on Sat Dec 10, 2011 1:22 pm

A fire has killed 89 people in a hospital in India, officials said.

Police arrested six hospital officials on charges of culpable homicide in Kolkata, formerly known as Calcutta.

Mamata Banerjee, chief minister of the state of West Bengal, ordered the hospital's licence withdrawn. The hospital denied any violations of safety measures.

"It was horrifying that the hospital authorities did not make any effort to rescue trapped patients," said Subrata Mukherjee, West Bengal state minister for public health engineering. "Senior hospital authorities ran away after the fire broke out."

As the fire spread from the seven-storey hospital's basement, rescue workers on long ladders smashed windows in the upper floors of the AMRI Hospital to pull surviving patients out before they suffocated from smoke inhalation, while sobbing relatives waited on the street below.

Rescue workers took patients on stretchers and in wheelchairs to a nearby hospital. Moon Moon Chakraborty, who was in the hospital with a broken ankle, called her husband S. Chakraborty at home to tell him a fire had broken out.

"She had died by the time I reached the hospital," her husband said.

One survivor told Indian television she was sitting by the bedside of her mother, who was on a ventilator, when smoke came into the room.

"My mother was continuously telling me that she was feeling suffocated and uneasy," she said. "I kept ringing the bell for the nurse, but no-one came."

Rescue workers managed to evacuate her mother more than two hours after the fire started, she said. Emergency workers pulled 73 bodies from the building, and another 16 succumbed to their injuries later, said police.

http://news.uk.msn.com/world/dozens-dead-in-india-hospital-fire-15



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