India: Death toll in Odisha hospital fire rises to 21

As many as 106 patients have been shifted from the fire-hit hospital to other nearby hospitals. Photograph:( AFP )

Bhubaneswar, Odisha, India Oct 19, 2016, 01.18 PM (IST)

The toll in the Sum Hospital fire in the east Indian state of Odisha rose to 21 today with the death of a patient who was undergoing treatment at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) here.

The deceased, identified as Janakibla Hui, had been shifted to AIIMS soon after the devastating fire ravaged the private medical facility on Monday evening, a spokesman of AIIMS-Bhubaneswar said.

A preliminary investigation had revealed that the fire was caused due to a short circuit in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU), which later spread to rest of the hospital. 

The woman had earlier been admitted to Sum Hospital reportedly with lung cancer, he said adding she had been shifted to AIIMS in a critical condition.

Most of the victims, who were on ventilator support, perished because of asphyxiation as a thick layer of smoke had enveloped vast areas of Sum Hospital after the fire broke out.

Out of the 21 deaths recorded so far, 14 cases were reported in the Capital Hospital, five at AMRI Hospital and two in AIIMS, officials said.

As many as 106 patients have been shifted from the fire-hit private hospital to different places including Capital Hospital, AIIMS, AMRI Hospital, Kalinga Hospital, KIIMS and Hitech Hospital in Bhubaneswar, while some were sent to SCB Medical College and Hospital in Cuttack.