A fire erupted on Sunday noon in Sher-e-Bangla Medical College Hospital (SBMCH) and the actions in this regard have showed that the hospital was running without proper fire safety arrangement.
Local fire fighting units doused the blaze, broke out in the store room on the fourth floor of the hospital around 1:30pm, after half an hour of frantic effort, leaving no remarkable damage.
On the other hand, at least four people were badly injured in the stampede of the patients, attendants, visitors and employees of the five-storied hospital.
Barisal Fire Service and Civil Defence Station Officer Alauddin Miah acknowledged the lack of fire safety in the hospital, saying the fire originated from electric short-circuit.
He also stated that there are many flammable items but it has no fire security measures. “Fatal injuries could have escaped because of happening the fire incident in broad daylight.”
Kamrul Hasan Selim, director of the SBMCH, echoed the voice of Alauddin, telling it was the duty of local public works department (PWB) to install fire-safety equipment in the hospital.
Zakir Hossain, executive engineer of the PWD office, denied the matter of duty, saying new buildings being constructed were following the fire safety code.
Murad Ahmed, a former member of the SBMCH management committee, said: “It is hospital authorities’ duty to ensure fire safety there, not the PWD. We discussed the concern many times in the regular meetings, but the efforts finally was in vain.”