A day after a fire broke out in the paediatric wing of the state-run SSKM hospital, forcing the evacuation of over 50 children, the State government admitted here on Sunday that there was lack of proper maintenance of the wiring network, electrical equipment in various government hospitals in the city. The fire-fighting system was also found wanting.

“Some of the electrical wirings in various hospitals needs replacement, but that cannot be done in a day. Efforts are on to start work as soon as possible,” Minister of State for Health Chandrima Bhattacharya told The Hindu.

Senior officials of the health department visited the hospital, inspected the affected portion of the building where the paediatric unit is located and reviewed the situation with the authorities.

Health Secretary Satish Tewari later admitted that there were shortfalls in the fire fighting system.

He said an inquiry committee would be set up in the coming week to probe the cause of the fire,suspected to have started from an over-used air-conditioning machine in the paediatric ward.

Traumatised

Though normal services in the affected ward resumed within hours of the fire being brought under control on Saturday night, family members of the children said their wards were traumatised and wanting to go home.

A fire occurred in the hospital in March when more than 60 patients had to be evacuated after an air conditioner caught fire in the emergency wing.