A portion of the two-storied Kasturba Gandhi Hospital collapsed here on Friday evening and several people including patients were suspected to be trapped under the debris.

The women’s ward of the over 60-year-old hospital caved in around 5 p.m. and an unspecified number of patients, including women patients, were suspected to be trapped, Madhya Pradesh Urban Administration and Development Minister Babulal Gaur told PTI from the spot.

A rescue operation has been launched and some patients have been pulled out of the debris alive, he said adding, the exact number of people trapped inside was not yet known.

Earth moving machines and equipment have been pressed into service to clear the rubble and pull out those trapped, he said.

Official sources said no casualties have been reported so far.

The facility is run by the Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited (BHEL).

Quoting hospital sources, Bhopal range DIG Sreenivasa Varma said 14 patients were in the collapsed ward of whom 11 have been rescued.

He, however, refused to hazard any guess about the number of people still caught under the rubble.

The officer said injuries suffered by those rescued were not serious.

Meanwhile, Executive Director of BHEL, Bhopal, S. R. Prasad, has said all 14 patients admitted to the ward have been rescued without any major harm.

He said they had suffered minor injuries and fractures and were being treated in another wing of the Kasturba Hospital.

One person, he said, was reported missing and efforts were on to find him.

“We have scanned the collapsed structure and there is nobody trapped inside. The work is on to clear the debris,” he said. - PTI