PM grieves over loss of life in Kolkata hospital fire, sanctions relief
New Delhi/Kolkata, Dec 9 (ANI): The Prime Minister, Dr. Manmohan Singh, has expressed grief over the loss of lives in the fire accident at AMRI Hospital in Kolkata.
Dr. Singh has sanctioned an ex- gratia of Rs. two lakh each to the kin of the persons diseased and Rs. 50,000 each to those seriously injured in the accident from the Prime Minister's National Relief Fund.
At least seventy-three people have reportedly died from suffocation from a massive fire that engulfed the centrally air-conditioned private hospital located in Dhakuria.
West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, who assessed the situation at the AMRI Hospital earlier in the day, described the tragedy as a case of negligence and as 'an unforgivable crime'. She vowed to give 'the harshest punishment possible' for the guilty.
Banerjee also ordered the cancellation of the hospital's licence and urged angry relatives of the victims to go to the state-run SSKM Hospital to identify the bodies.
The devastating fire broke out in the basement of the AMRI hospital in Kolkata's Dhakuria area at 3: 30 a.m., where the hospitals chemicals and medical waste are stocked.
A National Disaster Management team is at the site trying to save the lives of patients, doctors and nurses.
The firemen were also trying to locate the oxygen cylinders stocked on the floors, as the fire could make them explode. Senior city police and civil officials are also at the spot to assess the latest developments.
Helpline numbers that have reportedly been issued for the concerned families of the victims are: 09932215296 and 09831225067. (ANI)
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