A fire that broke out in the operation theatre in the emergency wing of the North Bengal Medical College at Siliguri in West Bengal's Darjeeling district threw life out of gear at the hospital on Sunday morning.
Doctors were attending to patients when someone noticed the fumes coming out of the theatre at about 11:30 a.m. Even as a few patients panicked, the staff rushed to evacuate everyone from the emergency wing and the fire brigade was called in. As it was a Sunday, no surgeries were being conducted.
Two fire tenders were rushed to the hospital. Initially the firemen struggled to locate the source of the fire. Eventually they broke into the air-conditioning unit and were able to douse the flames.
It took firemen about an hour to bring the fire under control.
Even though no serious injuries were reported, the fire charred walls and ceilings, mangled wires and wrecked equipment.
The extent of damage was being assessed.
Firemen suspect that a short-circuit in the air-conditioning system may have sparked the fire.