State University of New York Institute of Technology
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Hospital Fire in India

Commentin on "Hospital Fire Sparks Outrage in India" from the webpage http://www.globalethics.org/newsline/2011/12/12/hospital-fire/.

At least 91 people died in a hospital fire in India.  Hospital managers are accused of running away instead of helping bedridden patients to escape. 

This is sad news.  I don't think I have ever heard about a hospital fire before.  I think hospitals in the U.S. all have adequete sprinkler systems, and fire extinguishers.  This article does not mention if there were sprinklers or extinguishers.  It seems like there probably was not adequete fire prevention equipment installed in the hospital.

As for the managers "running away" this sounds horrible.  But the article does not say how bad the fire was.  Were the manager even able to save the patients?  Obviously you would expect the hospital workers to do everything they could to get the patients out of the hospital safely.  But, I would not expect them to die in their efforts to save people.  Hospital workers are not firemen, they do not have the equipment and clothing that firemen have to enable them to go into a smokey, burning building safely.

However, that being said, the fire department should have been called immediately.  Are the security guards so scared to lose their jobs that they are willing to let the hospital burn down with people in there?  Come on, really?

The first priority of hospital workers is to do whatever they can to save lives.  The first priority of security guards is to protect the hospital and the people in it.  One of the main priorities in designing a public building (especially a hospital) is fire prevention and safety.  It seems to me that many people have their priorities messed up.  But then again, I really don't know much about India.


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