(Eds: Adds details) Dhanbad (Jharkhand), Jan 28 (PTI) At least five people, including a doctor couple, were killed in a fire in a nursing home in Jharkhand’s Dhanbad on Saturday, an official said.
The deceased include the medical establishment’s owner Dr Vikas Hazra (64), his wife Dr Prema Hazra (58), the owner’s nephew Sohan Khamari and domestic help Tara Devi. The pet dog of the doctor couple also died in the incident.
A fire broke out in the storeroom of the nursing home-cum-private house in Bank More area of Dhanbad, 170 km from Ranchi, around 2 am, he said.
Six fire tenders were pressed into service to douse the fire, which was brought under control in a one-and-a-half-hour-long operation.
Dhanbad Sub-divisional Magistrate (SDM) Prem Kumar Tiwary told PTI, “At least five people, including the owner and his wife, died due to suffocation following a fire in the store room. One person is also injured. The cause of the blaze is yet to be ascertained and further investigation is underway.” Four deceased have been identified, while the fifth person is yet to be identified, he added.
Chief Minister Hemant Soren condoled the death of the doctor couple and others in the incident.
“May God grant peace to the departed souls and give strength to the bereaved family members to bear this difficult hour of grief,” he tweeted.
Health Minister Banna Gupta also expressed his grief over the incident.
The minister directed the Dhanbad deputy commissioner to take necessary action over the incident.
He also asked him to ensure arrangements for better treatment of the injured.
BJP national vice-president and former chief minister Raghubar Das and senior BJP leader and former chief minister Babulal Marandi also condoled the death of the doctor couple.
The doctor couple was renowned in the coal city and served people for more than 30 years.
Dr Vikas was the son of well-known gynaecologist late Dr C C Hazra. In the 1950s, private colliery owners of Gujarat appointed Dr C C Hazra for providing medical services in Dhanbad.
After the nationalisation of the coal industry in the country, Dr Vikas’s father set up a private maternity hospital -- RC Hazra Memorial Hospital -- on Telephone Exchange Road in Dhanbad in 1982.
Dr Vikas was an IVF specialist and among the top gynaecologists in the state. He had pressed his entire family into the service of poor patients.
The couple has left behind a son named Ayush and a daughter named Prerna, both medical students.
Dr Vikas and Dr Prema were students of Bangalore Medical College and they had tied the knot after completing their medical studies. Thereafter, Dr Vikas returned to Dhanbad and started his medical practice.
He was also a senior vice-president of the Dhanbad chapter of the Indian Medical Association (IMA) for the last two terms and actively participated in all programmes of the organisation.
The Jharkhand doctors’ fraternity condoled the death of the doctor couple.
Dr A K Singh, the president of IMA’s Jharkhand chapter, said the doctor community was deeply shocked by the tragic accident.
“Dr Vikas and Dr Prema Hazra’s great souls have departed, but the memories and their contributions to the medical field will never fade away. It’s a great loss for the state and medical fraternity,” he added. PTI COR SAN NAM ACD ACD