Woman dies, 12 others injured as ‘cantilever collapses’ at Gujarat’s Aziz Bhatti Shaheed Teaching Hospital

Published April 25, 2024
GUJRAT: The Aziz Bhatti Shaheed Teaching Hospital surgical ward after the cantilever collapse. — Dawn
GUJRAT: The Aziz Bhatti Shaheed Teaching Hospital surgical ward after the cantilever collapse. — Dawn

GUJRAT: A 60-year-old woman patient died and at least a dozen other persons, including eight patients, were injured when a cantilever in the surgical ward collapsed at the Aziz Bhatti Shaheed Teaching Hospital (ABSTH) here on Wednesday.

Azmat Bibi, 60, of Mandi Bahauddin district, who was seriously injured in the incident, later succumbed to her injuries. Her body was moved to her native village.

The injured persons include Rizwana of Lalamusa, Allah Ditta of Wazirabad, Saleem Akhtar of Thimka near Jalalpur Jattan, Umar Siddique of Gujranwala, Khalida Parveen and Gulshan of Gujrat and Siddique of Mandi Bahauddin.

The incident allegedly occurred due to the negligence of the government engineers and contractor firm, as well as the hospital’s administration, since the civil work was underway at the facility in connection with the Punjab government’s project to revamp the hospital’s old building.

Rescue 1122 officials and local authorities say the roofs of ground and first flours of the old building had bent because of removal of the support pillars to replace the windows of the surgical ward.

On being informed of the incident, Rescue 1122 teams, volunteers of Alkhidmat Foundation and officials of district administration and police reached the scene and joined the rescue operation.

Gujrat Deputy Commissioner Safdar Virk told Dawn after a detailed visit to the collapsed portion of the building that luckily the roof did not collapse totally, otherwise, it could have been more disastrous.

He says that when the beam collapsed there were only eight to 10 persons in the female surgical ward, while the ward on the ground floor had already been vacated.

The DC says that the Punjab government has taken a serious notice of the incident and constituted a committee to probe into it and fix the responsibility. A strict action may be taken against those found guilty in the light of inquiry report, he adds.

Those injured in the incident have been shifted to Rasheeda Shafi Trauma Centre at the ABSTH, where their condition is said to be stable, hospital sources say. They say that four other persons who suffered minor injuries in the incident have been discharged after provision of first aid.

Punjab Health Minister Khwaja Salman Rafique, Minister for Communication and Works Sohaib Bharth, along with the provincial secretaries of their respective departments, also reached the ABSTH and inspected the site.

They also inquired after the injured persons and assured them of treatment facilities.

The health minister says the Punjab government has ordered an inquiry into the incident and a committee has been constituted in this regard, whereas the C&W department officials will also prepare a report.

In a statement at night, Kh Salman Rafique said the provincial government has removed MS Dr Asif Mahmood and buildings executive engineer. He said the contractor would also face action.

Earlier, the Gujrat DC sent an initial report of the incident to the provincial government.

Published in Dawn, April 25th, 2024

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