Monday, December 12, 2011

Hell of Fire

A fire that broke out in a prestigious hospital for the rich and famous in the heart of Kolkata, known to all as AMRI hospital had a major fire breaking out on 9 Dec early morning and ending up killing 93 people, including 4 staff, and the rest being patients who came to the hospital to get well! RIP.

The government is blaming it on the hospital not having followed safety norms. The directors of the hospital are put behind bars and charged with homicide not amounting to murder. The government says they are revising policies relating to safety standards. But who shall bell the cat? In the case, the cat is the government. The disaster management department and fire services department have less interaction, and in spite of the fact that the civil defense department, the fire services department and disaster management department are under the same minister, the coordination has been less than expected. The State Disaster Management Authority is less than functional. At this point one thing must be said: it is time that all these three departments are merged, as all the three of them look into emergency situations.

The media reports say that the initial fire tenders went to the hospital to put out fire without any hydraulic ladders that can reach them at least to the fourth floor of the building. Whom to blame it on? Fate? Or, callousness? The ladders reached two hours late.

Finally, what about the hospital staff on night duty. The fire reportedly started around 1.30 am. But the security staff did not allow anyone to get it to help them, nor did they call for any assistance. This is absolutely unethical, unlawful, and amounting to murder. And must be treated as such.

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