Hospital basement was meant for car park: Kolkata mayor

December 10th, 2011 - 1:37 am ICT by IANS  

Kolkata, Dec 10 (IANS) Was the basement from where the fire started in the annexe building of AMRI hospital wrongly used by the hospital authorities? The Kolkata mayor has claimed the basement was originally meant as a car park but was used by the hospital to dump combustible material.

The hospital has denied the charge.

“The basement is full of combustible material. It was originally earmarked as a car park space. But they have used it to dump these materials. The way it has been maintained is irresponsible,” said Mayor Sovan Chatterjee.

He said the departmental engineers of the Kolkata Municipal Corporation have been asked to carry out inspections. “The authorities should have followed the norms. If there are lapses we will take steps.”

But the hospital in a statement claimed nothing hazardous was stored in the basement. “The fire department will also investigate the matter and we all are awaiting the outcome.”

The fire is believed to have spread from the basement emitting toxic fumes which choked to death 90 people, most of them patients.

A highly placed police officer said in July the hospital authorities were asked to remove the combustible material from the basement, but they did not pay heed.

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