Vikash Sharma

A major fire was reported at Pandit Raghunath Murmu Medical College and Hospital in Baripada on Friday. Panic gripped the patients as well as hospital staff after smoke was initially detected in the gynaecology department on the third floor of the hospital.

Though the exact reason behind the fire is not clear, all the patients in the ward as well as in the ICU were subsequently evacuated to safety.

“When people started running helter-skelter, the first thing that came to my mind was to save our newborn baby. Holding it closely to my chest, I ran out of the hospital,” said a woman. 

Recounting the scene, another woman said, “I can’t describe the situation in words. I saved my patient as well as other patients even though I couldn’t get any stretcher.”

“We heard a loud sound. Someone told a child might have fallen. But when we were told about the fire, we lost no time and ran out of the hospital. I had never seen such a situation in my lifetime. It was a stampede-like situation,” narrated another woman.

Dr GK Mohanty, in-charge CDMO said, “A spark was detected When some work was going on at the OT room,  Immediately our staff shifted the patients and made active the existing fire fighting systems. The work is on to douse the flames.”

Mohanty said all the patients have been safely evacuated. The smoke was detected when a surgery was being conducted at the OT room. The surgery was conducted from another room, he added.