A fire broke out at the Indira Gandhi Medical College and Hospital (IGMCH) here on Thursday after two cooking gas cylinders exploded in the cafeteria, leading to the evacuation of about 250 people from the new OPD building, officials said.
No casualty has been reported in the incident that took place in the new Outdoor Patient Department (OPD) building of the hospital, they said.
Chief Parliamentary Secretary (Public Works Department) Sanjay Awasthi visited the medical facility after the incident and directed the medical superintendent of IGMCH to conduct an inquiry and submit the report at the earliest.
He said that leakage in the gas cylinders led to the fire and also directed the hospital administration to take strict action against the manager of the cafeteria for negligence.
The blasts occurred when OPD services had just started. Within 15-20 minutes, about 250 people, including patients, were evacuated with the help of hospital staff and others, IGMCH Medical Superintendent Rahul Rao said.
No casualty was reported, he said, adding OPD services have been shifted to the old building for now.
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The column of smoke from the building was visible from far away. The two blasts took place in quick succession, triggering panic, eyewitnesses said.
"We received a call at 8:50 am and six fire tenders from the Mall Road, Chotta Shimla and Boileauganj were rushed to the spot and the fire was stopped from spreading," a fire official said.
The medical superintendent also said that four chambers of doctors, the cafeteria and three lifts have been damaged in the blaze and according to a preliminary estimate, the loss is over Rs 60 lakh.
Fire extinguishers and other equipment were available in the newly constructed building which were used to stop the fire from spreading, till the fire tenders arrived, health officials said.
Earlier, Leader of Opposition Jai Ram Thakur who visited the spot along with state BJP chief Rajiv Bindal, said that the government should take serious note of the incident and constitute an inquiry committee to fix the responsibility.
The new multi-storey OPD block, constructed at a cost of Rs 30.90 crore, was inaugurated by Chief Minister Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu on March 9.
The building houses emergency unit, intensive care unit, special wards, isolation ward and physiotherapy ward, as well as computerised tomography scan, X-ray, sample collection and pathology lab facilities.
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