All in-patients shifted to safer places

A fire broke out in Apollo Speciality Hospitals in K.K. Nagar here on Wednesday night.

Fire officials said that they received the call at 11.15 p.m. and fire tenders from Tallakulam, Periyar Bus Stand stations rushed to the spot. As many as 30 in-patients were shifted to other nearby hospitals in ambulances.

Other than the Apollo Hospital ambulance, the 108 emergency service ambulance and other hospitals’ ambulances were pressed into service.

Deputy Director (Fire and Rescue Service) M. Shahul Hameed said that initial probe suggested that the fire broke out from the air-conditioner unit of the ICCU ward. The oxygen line, which got heated up, was suspected as a reason for the fire. It was controlled within 45 minutes.

A hospital spokesman said fire safety systems were fully functional and there was no casualty.

Collector Anshul Mishra who visited the spot and oversaw the rescue operations said a detailed enquiry would be conducted into the incident.

Some senior Apollo doctors who were at the spot supervising the evacuation operations said that medical and para-medical staff rushed to the second floor and evacuated those who could not move out on their own. Critical patients were shifted along with their beds. Window panes had to be broken in several rooms. When the fire spread, thick smoke engulfed the entire second floor. Breathing became difficult for many persons.

The police said that panic prevailed in the vicinity as the news of fire spread across the hospital campus. Vehicular movement was regulated outside the premises. As a safety measure, all the in-patients were being shifted to safer places, the spokesman said. Further investigations are on.

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