90 Died in Indian Hospital Fire, Seven Directors Charged

At least three hospital staffers are among the victims of a Dec. 9 fire that spread from the basement of the AMRI Dhakuria Hospital in Kolkata, India.

Indian authorities now say 90 people died –- primarily patients, but including at least three employees -– in a fire inside a multi-story private hospital in Kolkata, India, on Dec. 9, and seven members of the hospital company's board of directors face criminal charges. The fire began in the AMRI Dhakuria Hospital's basement and spread to several wards.

The New York Times' report quoted a fire official on the scene as saying staffers had not been trained to handle such an emergency.

Several victims were ICU patients who died from asphyxiation, The Times of India reported.

AMRI is a joint venture of two groups that are owned by industrialists R.S. Goenka and S.K. Todi, who are among the six board members criminally charged. The Emami and Shrachi groups founded the hospital in 1996 in partnership with the West Bengal government, and the Indian newspaper reports it "was once rated as amongst India's best [and] is located in the fairly upscale Dhakuria neighbourhood."

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