At least 88 killed in fire in India

Dozens killed in India hospital fire
Dozens killed in India hospital fire

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Dozens killed in India hospital fire 00:46

Story highlights

  • Police say at least 88 are killed and 60 injured
  • Authorities find safety violations in the basement
  • Six hospital managers are arrested, accused of negligence
Investigators have arrested six hospital managers after a fire that killed at least 88 people in a hospital Friday in eastern India.
The six worked at a five-story hospital in the city of Kolkata, said Javed Ahmed Khan, the West Bengal Fire and Emergency Services minister.
They were arrested for negligence, Khan said.
A "majority" of the bed-ridden patients were abandoned by most of the staff on duty, he said.
Video of the scene broadcast by CNN affiliate CNN-IBN showed crowds of people wearing face masks rushing patients out onto the street in stretchers.
One child, apparently unconscious, was lowered by a rope from a higher floor of the hospital by rescuers.
A mass of people stood outside the hospital talking on cell phones and holding each other. Some who were trapped inside had broken windows to let the smoke out, and the hospital remained hot and smoky, CNN-IBN reported.
A doctor and two attendants were among the dead, Khan said. The other victims were all patients. Kolkata police said another 60 were injured.
The blaze started in the hospital's basement, said D.P. Biswas, adjutant director-general of the fire department in the area.
Staffers abandoned patients during fire
Staffers abandoned patients during fire

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Staffers abandoned patients during fire 02:48
The victims died of smoke inhalation, Biswas said.
The blaze started around 4 a.m. Authorities were trying to determine what caused the fire.
A preliminary investigation showed that the hospital had safety violations in the basement, Khan said.
Authorities found that the basement was being used as a place to park cars and house medical supplies, as well as the location for an oncology department, Khan said.
"This was a violation" of the safety norms, he said.
Khan said the hospital's license was revoked.