Seven held for Kolkata hospital fire, toll rises to 90

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Seven held for Kolkata hospital fire, toll rises to 90 Pics By NewsVarta    Gallery Enlarge Image

By Rajiv
Date  10 Dec 2011

Ninety people, most of them patients in sleep, were on Friday choked to death in a major fire suspected to have been caused by inflammable material stored in the basement of a multi-specialty private hospital.
The fire in the basement of AMRI Hospital in South Kolkata's Dhakuria locality was first noticed by local residents at around 3.30 am who rushed to the gates but were stopped by security guards.

The fire spread swiftly and the poisonous smoke was sucked by air conditioning ducts that carried it through the rooms of and the corridors of the seven-storeyed hospital located in a densely-populated area.

Most of the victims were asphyxiated to death. Except four hospital staff, the rest were patients most of whom were not mobile. Among the dead were an 80-year-old cancer patient and Congress leader Ajoy Ghosal and a 65-year-old Bangladeshi national Gauranga Mandal.

The patients struggled to find their way out in the smoke-filled buildings with flames leaping from the floors below as the hospital staff were said to have fled. Locals alleged fire tenders arrived on the scene nearly two hours after the blaze started.

Six members of the hospital board, including leading industrialist S K Modi, were arrested on charges of culpable homicide and negligence

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