A fire broke out at Sir Ganga Ram Hospital early on Wednesday. This was the second instance of a fire breaking out in the hospital in less than two weeks.
News of the fire spread quickly and caused panic among those visiting the facility. Patients thronged outside the gynecology ward as smoke filled the premises. The hospital management shifted patients to the out-patient department (OPD) as efforts got underway to control the fire. Heated arguments were witnessed between staff and attendants as patients were being shifted to the OPD. Rescue officials said that the fire was caused by an iron that had been left unattended in the store room. Firefighters managed to douse the blaze after an hour. Three fire brigades were involved in the effort to control the fire. Hospital officials said that the fire extinguisher in the facility was inoperative. Adviser to Chief Minister on Health Khawaja Salman Rafique and District Coordination Officer (DCO) Captain Usman Younis arrived at the premises soon after the fire broke out and started investigations. Rafique said that the hospital management had started investigations and strict action would be taken against anybody found guilty of the negligence.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 24th, 2014.