Over 70 people have perished in a fire which swept through a private hospital in Calcutta.
Patients were caught as smoke and flames poured through the building. Reports say medical staff abandoned many of their patients and fled for safety.
As rescue workers scrambled to evacuate survivors police filed a case against the hospital officials for violating safety procedures. It is believed the fire started in the basement.
“It is all dark inside the hospital and full of smoke, there is no visibility, all doors are also closed. We had to break the glass of the doors to get inside in order to rescue the patients. When we reached them we found they were unconscious,” explained one rescue worker.
The narrow streets around the multi-storey hospital hampered the fire fighters trying to get their trucks and ladders close to the building. It took them five hours to bring the flames under control.
At the time of the blaze there were 160 patients being treated in what was considered to be one of the best hospitals in the city.
Bodies were removed wrapped in white sheets amid chaotic scenes outside. Information was scarce, fear and grief mixed in the air.
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