JABALPUR: The youngest victim of the hospital fire in Jabalpur, 19-year old Tanmay Vishwakarma, had got admission a few minutes before the devastating inferno broke out on Monday afternoon.
Tanmay’s father had taken him to New Life Multispecialty Hospital as he had a fever and doctors recommended hospitalisation. From his hospital bed, the teenager had sent a picture of himself to his family and friends with the message that he would be back soon. Only a few minutes after this photo pinged on his cellphone, his father Aman Vishwakarma received a call from Tanmay, where he was screaming for help. “Papa, there is fire all around and I cannot get out. Please come and save me,” the youngster said.
There was one last scream and the phone went dead.
“My son called me up at 2.49pm and was crying for help. He was still on the call when he became silent,” the anguished father told TOI on Tuesday.
Tanmay was among eight people killed in the fire. On Tuesday, police booked four owners of the hospital — all of them doctors — after investigators found that the hospital’s no-objection certificate for fire safety had expired in March this year.
Police have registered a case against hospital directors Dr Nischint Gupta, Dr Suresh Patel, Dr Sanjay Patel and Dr Santosh Soni and assistant manager Ram Soni under IPC sections 304 (causing death by negligence), 308 (culpable homicide) and 34 (common intention), the SP said, adding that Soni has been arrested and police are looking for the directors.
“Apart from the hospital directors action should also be taken against those who issued the licenses for running such an institution without caring for the lives of innocent people, they are equally responsible for the incident,” Tanmay’s father said.
According to officials, the district’s chief medical and health officer, Jabalpur Municipal Corporation and other officials had written to the management on the fire NoC but no action was taken for four months.
Jabalpur SP Siddharth Bahuguna said, “The hospital had taken provisional NoC for fire safety in March 2021. There weren’t enough fire extinguishers and no emergency exits were identified. The civic body and CMHO wrote to the hospital regarding the expiry of NoC, but no fire safety audit was carried out. There was no emergency exit at the hospital.”