A fire broke out at Suhrawardy Medical College Hospital at Sher-e-Bangla Nagar in the capital yesterday. More than 1200 patients, including those at ICUs, were evacuated after the fire spread out. The patients have also been admitted to different health facilities. Of them, around 180 were taken to Dhaka Medical College Hospital (DMCH), said in-charge of DMCH police camp sub-inspector Bachchu Mia. Many panicked patients rushed to safety seeing smoke billowing up into the sky, witnesses said. No casualty, however, was reported till filling of this report around 12:30am.
Local people, and students and Chhatra League activists of Sher-e-Bangla Agricultural University were seen helping patients. An employee of the hospital told reporters that the fire originated in a store room of the hospital’s new building around 5:50pm. However, Brigadier General Ali Ahmed Khan, Director of Fire Service and Civil Defense, said the fire originated at the child and gynaecology departments (wards 11 and 12) and later spread to other rooms.
“Sixteen units are working to control the fire. We have already brought the flames under control, but the density of smoke is very thick and as there are numerous flammable things in the hospital wards, we are yet to identify the source of fire. Hopefully we will control the situation shortly,” Khan had told reporters.
Two more units joined the dousing efforts later and the fire was put out around 9:30pm, said sources of fire service control room at night.
Md Rajib, SI of Sher-e-Bangla Nagar police station also confirmed that the fire broke out at the new building and that they received no reports of casualty after the incident.
Minister for Health and Family Welfare Zahid Malik, State Minister Murad Hasan and DG of health services Prof Abul Kalam Azad visited the spot.
Prof Azad said the situation under control and that the patients in critical condition were being transferred to another hospital. Patients are all safe, he added.
Prof Azad also assured safety of every patient and said hospital authorities will bear the cost of those who were being shifted to other hospitals. Power supplies to the hospital were cut for about an hour to make sure things will not deteriorate. Videos posted on social media showed smoke billowing from the hospital building.