New Delhi: The major fire at AIIMS, which caters to hundreds of people everyday, left patients and their relatives in panic and disrupted emergency services of the hospital Saturday evening. 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.
Rajesh Mahato (31), who works as a guard at the teaching block, said he was among the first to notice the blaze and immediately informed the control room and subsequently the fire department was called. "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 everyone was evacuated swiftly and no casualty or injury took place," he said.
The fire destroyed samples and medical reports and forced evacuation of patients, but no one was injured, officials 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. A Delhi Fire Services Department (DFS) official said they received a call about fire at around 5 PM and 34 fire tenders were rushed to control the blaze.
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. The fire started at Microbiology department's virology unit. Sources said the fire spread to the adjacent 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 cables being used were kept, they said. The patients in AB ward close to the Microbiology department were evacuated and shifted to safer places, they said. Also, patients in the operation theatres above the microbiology department were shifted to other wards, sources said. PTI