New Delhi: More than twenty people were killed after a major fire broke out in the intensive care unit (ICU) ward of Institute of Medical Sciences and Sum Hospital in Bhubaneswar on Monday evening.

Several others were injured during the evacuation process, officials said.

“Some private hospitals and government-run Capital Hospital received the dead bodies. Those patients were shifted from SUM Hospital,” Khurda district collector Niranjan Sahoo told media persons.

Five fire tenders and a Bronto Skylift were sent to the spot for fire fighting operations.

“Five fire tenders have been pressed into service to contain the blaze. Rescue operations are underway. More fire engines could be used,” informed Binay Behera, D G Fire Services.

The cause of the fire is believed to be an electric short-circuit. However, there is no confirmation from the authorities yet.

All the patients in the ICU were immediately moved out of the ward. 

“Soon after the fire mishap, we shifted all patients to safer places. We also broke open some windows to prevent suffocation of patients. Our own staffers were engaged to rescue the patients,” said hospital’s deputy superintendent Basant Pati.

An inquiry committee has been constituted to look into the fire incident and whether the hospital authorities had taken safety measures or not.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has expressed anguish about the loss of the lives in the hospital.

“Deeply anguished by the loss of lives in the hospital fire in Odisha. The tragedy is mind-numbing. My thoughts are with bereaved families,” PM said.

PM Modi added that he spoke to Odisha CM Naveen Patnaik about the distressing hospital fire tragedy and assured him of all possible support from the Centre.

“Spoke to CM @Naveen_Odisha about the distressing hospital fire tragedy. Assured all possible support from the Centre,” PM added.