No casualties in Vizag hospital fire (Lead)

Visakhapatnam, Dec 14 (IANS) All patients were safely evacuated from a private hospital which caught fire in Visakhapatnam on Thursday.

No casualties were reported in the fire at Indus Hospital, police said. About 60 patients were evacuated and shifted to other hospitals.

Some patients and hospital staff members were rescued by firefighting personnel with the help of ladders.

Ten fire tenders were pressed into service to extinguish the fire.

Visakhapatnam Police Commissioner A. Ravi Shankar said all patients were safely evacuated and shifted to other hospitals. He said the fire started from an operation theatre around 11 a.m. and spread to other parts.

Black smoke had enveloped the hospital building located at Jagadamba Circle in the port city.

The incident sent panic among patients and their attendants. Fire fighting personnel and police rushed to the spot and launched the rescue operation.

Short-circuit is suspected to have caused the fire.

Meanwhile, district collector Mallikarjuna has constituted a committee to probe the incident. The five-member committee comprises Revenue Divisional Officer, District Medical and Health Officer, District Fire Officer, District Coordinator of Hospital Services and Assistant Commissioner of Police.

The committee has been directed to submit the report in 24 hours.

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