The flavour of Kolkata

The flavour of Kolkata
The city is known for its old alleys. One such is shot by Atanu Pal.

Friday, December 09, 2011

The AMRI Fire

I have little to add on the devastating fire that broke at one of the top and expensive private hospitals (AMRI at Dhakuria) at around 3.30 am that shook the city today. The death toll, rising possibly every hour, reportedly stands at close to 90 now, apparently most of them patients, including many old and immobile. The fire started at the basement and rose up to the second floor.

This is the second biggest fire the city witnessed haplessly after the one at Stephen Court in March 2010!

What I find particularly shocking is that the fire safety of such an advanced institution where people would come to save lives of near and dear ones against hefty expenditure apparently left a lot to be desired! Did they have smoke alarms, I wonder!

As per last update, the CM Mamata Banerjee, who's also the Minister of Health, has cancelled the license of the hospital. Six directors of AMRI (most of them big names in the industry) have been arrested.

This incident has tarnished the goodwill of the AMRI chain (They have another full-fledged hospital in Salt Lake and a newly started maternity and pediatric hospital at Mukundapur on EM Bypass) majorly and the group (Promoted by two leading local business groups - Emami and Shrachi) will have to struggle hard to revive it in the coming years. The healthcare chain expanded remarkably in the last 10 years. Public memory is short in general, but since this is healthcare this nightmare is not going to fade away easily. This incident should also lead to a new benchmark of fire safety standards in private hospitals in Kolkata.

The offenders should receive exemplary punishment in the court of law and the government should leave no stones unturned to do the needful. It's good to know that the CM has vowed the 'harshest punishment possible' for the guilty.

Looking forward to the development that follows.


  1. But alas, probably they will be freed in bail in a day or two leaving people in the same state announcing some compensation. :(

  2. Sohini9:55 PM

    It is indeed a very sad incident to have hit Calcutta and whom to blame, but the hospital authorities, who decided to keep fire alarms off, because, they apparent disturb patients!

  3. at the time of construction of hopital buidling they need get permission from fire and safety services dept and they have to construct according to the norms of the dept . then this type of accidents may be prevented or at least there may be a chance to save some people,it may be a problem due to the negligence of builder and fire dept irresponsibility


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