Major fire paralyses functioning of GMC’s OPDs


A major fire early in the morning, on Tuesday, paralaysed the functioning of the out patient departments (OPDs) of the Goa Medical College putting hundreds of patients who had turned up for medical checkups to inconvenience even as it totally gutted the pharmacy run by the Goa Antibiotics and Pharmaceuticals Limited.
With a major part of the out patients departments block having been extensively damaged, the GMC authorities have decided to shift the OPDs to the Yatri Niwas till the condition of the building post fire incident was assessed and a go ahead was given by the authorities.
While all efforts have been made to provide medical care to the patients, all the services might not be available in the new OPD area as it would take some time before all the necessary equipments are shifted.
The shifting of OPDs to new location would be done by the GMC staff on Wednesday and OPDs would start functioning from Thursday.
The Dean of GMC, Dr Viney N Jindal, informed that Goa State Infrastructure Development Corporation has been assigned the job of assessing the condition of the building and its worthiness and repairs. "We don’t want to take chances with the lives of people and hence have decided to assess the condition of the building before starting the OPDs," he said.
The GMC dean also stated that since the fire has damaged cables and other things no one can be assured of the condition of the building and till a report is received from the GSIDC the OPDs would be operated from Yatri Niwas. The GSIDC is expected to give its report within a week.
The fire services officials said that they were informed of the fire at 8.30 a.m. and soon 10 fire fighting vehicles (five from the fire services headquarters, one from Panaji fire station, two from Margao, and one each from Verna and Vasco fire stations were sent to the site of fire.
Timely arrival of the fire fighting vehicles prevented the fire from spreading to other parts of the GMC and helped contain damage to the other parts of building. The fire services officials have put the loss due to the fire at around ` 90 lakh. The cause of fire was not ascertained till late in the evening, fire
services said.
Luckily no one was injured in the fire, but two handicapped patients, one of whom was a blind and the other a deaf, who perhaps were unaware of the incident and in the vicinity were rescued by the fire services personnel.
According to the officials of the GAPL as well as the GMC, the fire broke out at around 8.20 a.m. in the pharmacy and then spread to corridor of the building of OPDs causing extensive damage to the infrastructure. The fire was brought under total control at around 11.40 a.m., the fire services officials informed.
Dr Jindal further informed that the GAPL officials informed him that the fire was caused due to short circuit after a voltage stabilizer on a refrigerator caught fire. Soon the fire spread to the whole of pharmacy and all the medicine stored in it was totally destroyed in the fire. An official of GAPL said that the total loss due to fire to the company was around
` 50 lakh. [NT]