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Probe ordered into Bhopal hospital building collapse

Sunday April 28, 2013 10:44:24 PM, Pervez Bari,

Bhopal: A technical probe into the incident of collapse of a portion of Kasturba Gandhi Hospital in Bhopal, which came down hurtling on Friday (April 26) resulting in deaths of three persons and causing injuries to over two dozen others, has been ordered.

The Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited, (BHEL), administration, which maintains the hospital has constituted a committee for the technical probe into the incident. The investigation team comprises experts from Department of Structural Engineering, MANIT and other experts.


The committee is chaired by DK Dixit, General Manager (Quality) BHEL, Bhopal. Venkatachalam Ex. AGM, BHEL, Bhopal; PJ Reddy BHEL, AGM, RC Puram; PML Prasad AGM BHEL R & D Hyderabad, Nitin Dindorkar, Professor of Structure Engineering, MANIT; and Oscar Angel, DGM (SF), are members of this committee. The committee will submit its report within one week.

According to Chief Medical Officer of Kasturba Hospital Dr. Sarla Menon there are 26 roof-collapse patients and four out of them are in ICU. Those who are in ICU are Navin Kedia, Qamar-un-nissa , wife of Mohammad Jameel, Veena, daughter of Sarama who was already undergoing the ward which collapsed and Sarama herself. Condition of all the patients is stable. Vina is a staff member of the pathology unit of the Hospital. She had gone to attend her mother Sarama and she sustained head injuries.”

After the hospital tragedy several questions relating to the nature of maintenance work being carried out on the ground floor that housed the female surgical ward remain unanswered. The legitimacy of contract awarded and why the contractor is missing. Besides, it is still not clear as to how many labourers were engaged in the portion of the building that caved in and whether the contractor was present at the site.

Official sources have said that the contract was awarded to Vaastukar, a company owned by Jaideep. However, BHEL has not yet stated what action is being taken against the company under whose watch the building part collapsed.

Meanwhile the labour unions have demanded that BHEL officials involved in awarding of the contract should also be put under scanner besides the contractor. It should be investigated whether the contract awarded was legitimate or not.

A labour union representative, V. S. Kathait, working president HESTU, HMS alleged: "The technical qualifications of the contractor should be probed as he was awarded minor works in the past and now suddenly he was awarded the Rs.20 million hospital contract."

Another labour union leader R. D. Tripathi said, “The pillars of the structure had developed cracks during renovation and labourers had pointed that out to the contractor but it was ignored. Building is 45 years old and civil department is totally responsible for the accident.”

Meanwhile, narrating her horrible experience Ramkali, one of the patients undergoing treatment in female ward of Kasturba Hospital, BHEL, said, “As the roof tilted, there was panic and chaos among patients. No one knew what he or she should do. I slipped down from bed in an attempt to come out from the ward.”


She was undergoing treatment in the ward that collapsed. She sustained injuries in her attempt to move out of the ill-fated ward. This was not the reaction of Ramkali alone but of almost all the patients who were admitted in the female surgical ward when the roof caved in on April 26 evening.

Roof caved in bit by bit
Arti, Ramkali’s relative said, “God saved us. Otherwise my Aunt would have been no more. There was chaos as the roof collapsed. It did not collapse all of a sudden. It collapsed bit by bit. So, doctors and paramedic staff got time to remove patients safely.”


It was just like "second coming" for the patients of the ill-fated ward. They were dazed and in a state of trauma.

Meanwhile, Director (IS & P), BHEL M. K. Dubey and Director (HR), BHEL, R. Krishnan, reached Bhopal from headquarters New Delhi on Saturday morning and immediately rushed to the site.


They visited the injured in the hospital and advised hospital staff and doctors to provide best possible care & treatment. They said that if needed, BHEL would make arrangement of their treatment outside Bhopal also.







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