HYDERABAD: A fire in a bulk medicine store at Liaquat University Hospital (LUH) in Jamshoro burnt on Sunday medicines worth around Rs150 million.
The authorities have yet to figure out whether it was an act of arson or an accidental fire from a short circuit. It took four fire tenders over seven hours to extinguish the blaze.
The deputy commissioner of Jamshoro, Munawar Ali Mahesar, said that medicines worth between Rs150 million and Rs200 million have been lost in the incident. “An inquiry will be conducted to find out the cause,” he told the local media while recalling that the hospital’s officials are already facing multiple inquiries in different cases of corruption by the National Accountability Bureau and Anti-Corruption Establishment among others.
How the fire broke out is a big question that needs to be investigated, he said. The store’s ground floor structure is located near the hospital.
Fire officer Ali Sher Kaka said the fire-fighting lasted longer because the store’s gates were sealed and the firemen could not enter the building. According to him, keys of both the iron-grilled gates were unavailable and the firemen had to break open the gates to douse the flames.
Dr Abdul Wahab Wadho, the medical superintendent of LUH, blamed the fire brigade for responding late to the incident. “I kept calling the fire brigade but they arrived late,” he alleged. Dr Wadho avoided sharing the estimated worth of the medicines that have been burnt, saying that an inquiry will be conducted.
The additional medical superintendent, Dr Sikandar Ali Khokhar, claimed that a portion of the store where 10 freezers were kept remained safe.