A fire broke out at the state-run Gandhi Hospital in Hyderabad on Thursday evening, which burnt down the post-operative paediatric ward situated on the third floor of the main building.
No patient was present in the ward at the time of the incident, as a result of which no injuries or casualties were reported. However, there was destruction of property, with authorities stating that expensive neo-natal equipment which was stored in the ward, was completely razed.
Though thick smoke engulfed the floor as the fire broke out, quick action by authorities averted a major tragedy. Officials said that the room was locked as the equipment was stored inside and they wanted to prevent any untoward incidents.
Authorities said that they are yet to establish the reason for the fire, which broke out in the afternoon and engulfed the entire ward, but an initial investigation suggests that it may have been due to a short circuit.
While fire extinguishers are present on every floor, they were inadequate to control the flames and a fire engine from the Musheerabad station rushed to the spot and doused the fire.
“We had carried three tanks to extinguish the fire but only one was used. We are now investigating the cause of the fire,” a fire officer, K Venkatesh, was quoted as saying.
In May this year, a minor fire in a circuit board had broken out, filling the corridor of the first floor of the emergency block with smoke. At the time, media outlets had highlighted that the hospital was not fire-safe as fire-fighting equipment was missing, and there were only two entry and exit points in the five-floor building, that housed doctors, nurses, staff and patients with all kinds of ailments and even those undergoing surgeries.
Despite this, little action had been taken as the hospital claimed that it had written to the state government and was waiting for funds to be sanctioned.