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February 21, 2020
New Delhi, Aug 18 (IANS) Delhi Fire Service (DFS) chief Vipin Kental on Sunday said the damage due to the blaze at AIIMS could have avoided had the hospital administration been careful about exits and open spaces and if its security staff had been more alert.
The Saturday evening blaze started on the second floor of the PC building and quickly spread to the fifth floor, destroying infrastructure and expensive medical equipment besides a large number of samples and records of patients.
It took more than 12 hours and 34 fire tenders to douse the fire. Initial investigation suggests short circuit as the cause of the fire though an official reason is yet to be given.
“No casualties were reported. Our staff would have under no circumstance let the fire spread had it not faced unnecessary hurdles. The administration should have been a little more careful about exits and open spaces in the hospital and the security staff shown alertness,” said Kental.
He said where the blaze started, there was a teaching block besides research labs. It also housed an ICU. Next to it was the Emergency block.
“Our first priority was to get the patients out, to avoid any loss of life. But things became difficult as all landline phones inside AIIMS stopped working due to the fire,” Kental told IANS.
Kental said the rear end of the PC building, where the firemen could have easily placed their high-rise platforms and prevented the fire from spreading to upper storeys, had several high capacity generators blocking the way.
“So we had no choice but to place the platforms outside the PC building, a little away from the fire spot. This took time and also hampered our smooth operation.
“The administration must ensure proper arrangement of exits and open spaces inside the hospital in case of such an emergency,” he said.