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Sum fire tragedy: One month later…

Sum fire one month

Bhubaneswar: It’s been a month since fire engulfed the dialysis ward of SUM Hospital on October 17. The uproar regarding fire safety measures has subsided while the hospital owner Manoj Nayak and the Superintendent Pushparaj Samantray are out on bail. But the pain of the families who lost their family members and relatives among the 30 dead in the tragedy is still afresh.

While the compensation promised by the state government and centre as well as the hospital is yet to reach most families of the bereaved, the silver lining is that most of the injured people in the tragedy have been discharged.

A total of 138 people were admitted to 12 hospitals in the Twin City of which 19 were reportedly brought dead to the hospitals. The highest number of people were admitted to AMRI hospital. “We had admitted 41 people of which five were brought dead. All the fire victims have been discharged from our hospital,” said an official of AMRI hospital. Overall, four people are still under treatment as of now, including two in Apollo and one each at Kalinga Hospital and Hi-Tech. Sources at hospitals said they have not charged the patients and discharged them since state health department would reimburse the expenses which is yet to be initiated.

While 19 had perished within hours of the fire outbreak, 11 more died under treatment in the following days. The State government had announced Rs 5 lakhs compensation while the Centre had promised Rs 2 lakhs ex gratia for families of dead and Sum authorities had also promised Rs 5 lakhs to the victims though most families have said they are yet to receive any such support.

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