New Delhi: A fire broke out at the teaching block of the AIIMS Delhi on Saturday, destroying samples and medical reports and forcing evacuation of some patients, though no one was injured, officials said.
Patients from some floors of the AB ward, close to the Microbiology department where the blaze started at around 5 pm, were evacuated along with those in operation theatres above it as the smoke spread, they said.
A Delhi Fire Services Department (DFS) official said 34 fire tenders were rushed to the site after they received a call. The Microbiology department's virology unit on the second floor of the teaching block has been completely gutted, sources said.
Former finance minister Arun Jaitley is admitted at the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) of the cardio-neuro centre, housed in a different building in the complex. Several prominent leaders have been visiting the hospital for the past few days to inquire about his health.
Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal tweeted, "I appeal to everyone to maintain calm and allow the Fire Services personnel to do their work." A fire department official said there was no casualty in the blaze.
The fire in AIIMS building will be brought under control at the earliest.
Fire Service trying it's best to extinguish the fire.
I appeal to everyone to maintain calm and allow the Fire Services personnel to do their work.
— Arvind Kejriwal (@ArvindKejriwal) August 17, 2019
Dark plumes of smoke and flames were seen billowing out from the affected building of the premier health institute. Sources said the fire spread to the Emergency Lab in the department of Lab Medicine, which is adjacent to the Microbiology department's virology unit, where electricity work was going on for some time and cable and wire being used were kept, they said.
The fire moved down to the first floor and also upward to the third and the fourth floor of the building, they said. Some parts of the fifth floor were also affected, they added. "The fire was brought under control within two hours," said a fire department official.
Patients' samples come to the virology unit and Lab Medicine department for testing. It is suspected that a large number of samples and patient records have been destroyed as the virology unit has been completely gutted, a fire department official said.
Delhi: Fire-fighting operations continue at All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) pic.twitter.com/2q9vHTiytb
— ANI (@ANI) August 17, 2019
A guard posted at the teaching block said he was the first to notice the blaze, following which he informed the control room and started the rescue operation with other officials. Rajesh Mahato (31) said, "It was Saturday and the department usually closes by 1 pm. When the fire broke out, there were not many students inside the building, due to which those present could be evacuated on time and there was no casualty."
The fire left patients and their relatives in a state of panic and disrupted emergency services of the hospital. Mohammad Sohail rushed to the hospital after hearing of the fire as his uncle was admitted in the surgery department. "I was at home when I heard news about the fire at AIIMS. I was concerned about my uncle's safety. When I reached here, I learnt that the fire broke out in a non-patient block" he said.
Anil Kumar (40), who had come to the hospital, said he was unable to get treatment after the fire broke out. "Patients got panicky after they heard about fire at the hospital. It was impossible to think about getting treatment in such a chaotic situation," he said.
Bimla Devi, 40, who was brought to the AIIMS on Saturday afternoon, had to wait for hours to get admitted in the hospital. "We have been waiting for hours to get my mother admitted. The services in the emergency department have been affected due to the fire," said Archana Kumar Singh (18), Bimla's daughter.
Updated Date: Aug 17, 2019 22:27:49 IST