Four SUM Hospital officials arrested for fire tragedy

Bhubaneswar: Medical Superintendent Pusparaj Samantasinghar was among the four officials of Institute of Medical Sciences and SUM Hospital who were arrested on Tuesday in connection with the fire tragedy that claimed 20 lives.

The Commissionerate Police also arrested ex-Executive Engineer Amulya Kumar Sahu (electrical maintenance), Fire Safety Officer Santosh Das and retired Junior Engineer Malay Kumar Sahu (electrical maintenance).

Their arrest on charges of criminal negligence, including culpable homicide, culpable homicide not amounting to murder, and negligence with regard to fire safety, is based on an FIR filed by Fire Services Department, Police Commissioner Y.B. Khurania said.

Nineteen persons were killed in the fire in the Intensive Care Unit of the Dialysis Ward on Monday evening. Another 106 were undergoing treatment for injuries.

The Fire Services Department lodged the FIR with the Khandagiri police, alleging negligence of the hospital authorities to adhere to the fire safety norms.

The Directorate of Medical Education and Training (DMET) had also lodged an FIR against them for not adhering to the fire safety norms and evacuation of patients.

However, the police are yet to take any action on the FIR by the DMET.

Meanwhile, the Odisha Human Rights Commission (OHRC) registered a suo motu case over the fire mishap and asked the Health Secretary Arti Ahuja and Fire Service Director General Binay Behera to submit a report within three weeks.