Hospital on fire, no emergency exits for patients

Hyderabad: At 9.30 on Tuesday morning, the Park Hospital in Hyderabad, a five-floor building, found itself on fire.

The relatively new hospital (it was opened six months ago) could have turned into a death trap-  it did not have adequate fire safety measures including fire exits. Many passengers jumped out of their rooms to escape the flames that engulfed the post-operative wards and the Intensive Care Unit.

Firefighters also smashed windows to enter patients' rooms; 42 patients were evacuated and rushed to another hospital across the road.  "Accident happening in commercial, residential complex is different. In hospital, most patients can't even sit up without help of attendants. So evacuating was a big task,'' says AK Khan, the Hyderabad Police Commissioner.

"One nurse suffered a cardiac arrest and has been revived. Six others critical because of asphyxiation,'' says Doctor Shastri who treated patients after they were moved to safety. 

Hospital employees say a short circuit is to blame. 

The parts of the hospital that were affected house patients who cannot move.  The fact that there were no emergency exits near them has left officials shocked.

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