New Delhi: With the premier most medical institution in the country- AIIMS New Delhi witnessing one of the most blase on Saturday, an FIR has been registered under IPC Sections 336 (endangering life or personal safety of others) and 436 (mischief by fire or explosive substance with intent to destroy house, etc.) against unknown people.
The forensic team of the Fire Department will inspect the site of fire at the hospital. The team will also submit a report to Delhi Police after which action will be taken to determine the negligence.
The Saturday evening fire that took more than 12 hours and 34 fire tenders to control, started on the second floor of the PC building and quickly spread to the fifth floor, destroying infrastructure and expensive medical equipment besides a large number of samples and records of patients. Initial investigation suggests short circuit as the cause of the fire through an official reason is yet to be given.
A guard posted at the teaching block of the AIIMS here said he was the first to notice the blaze in the building on Saturday evening, following which he informed the control room and started the rescue operation with other officials. The patients were evacuated from the A and B wing to the Dr Rajendra Prasad Centre for eyes where doctors rushed to stabilize the situation. Thankfully, no casualties were reported
Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan reviewed fire-fighting arrangements at AIIMS and directed the hospital administration to conduct a comprehensive fire safety audit on Sunday, a day after a massive blaze at the teaching block destroyed samples and medical reports. AIIMS Director Randeep Guleria held a meeting with the heads of various departments and administrative staff to review the hospital patient care services on Sunday. A committee has been set up to restore full functionality of services affected in the teaching block, according to a Health Ministry statement.
“It was decided that outpatient department (OPD) and emergency services will continue to run normally. Operation theatres (OTs) will be functional and the scheduled surgeries will be performed.
“A committee has been set up to restore full functionality of services affected in PC teaching block. Additional staff has also been deployed for guiding the patients. He also reviewed the existing fire safety arrangements at AIIMS and discussed steps to further strengthen them,” the statement said.
The AIIMS administration has initiated an internal inquiry to look into the cause of the fire and further strengthen preventive measures.
“AIIMS has a regular fire prevention system. There are fire personnel deployed round the clock with fire fighting safety systems regularly tested including clearance of fire exits and corridors. Awareness of fire fighting systems among staff is conducted regularly,” the statement issued by the hosptial stated.
The fire, which is suspected to have started from the microbiology laboratory area, has affected some laboratories and office areas, the statement said.
“I reviewed the situation after the fire at AIIMS yesterday. The hospital area has not been affected by the fire and there has been no loss or damage to life,” Vardhan said.
Vardhan also directed the AIIMS administration for conducting a comprehensive special fire audit.
The Union Health Minister personally monitored the efforts on-site towards extinguishing the fire and patient care at AIIMS, the statement said.
Vardhan stated that as a precautionary measure, the administration had shifted the patients from AB wing of the hospital.
“These patients have now been shifted back to their respective wards in the AB wing. The hospital along with the emergency department and emergency laboratories are fully functional now,” he said.
Being a premier specialist tertiary care institution, Vardhan said, the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) has a regular and well-functioning fire prevention system.