Calcutta Hospital Blamed in Deadly Fire

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The Calcutta hospital where a fire killed at least 89 people Friday is being severely penalized, with six hospital workers charged with culpable homicide. State officials said hospital authorities had failed to help the rescue efforts, abandoning patients and fleeing. After the blaze began in the hospital's basement, where the Times of India reported chemicals were stored, patients and staff on upper floors were trapped. Most of the patients and several staff members who were killed during the five-hour fire died of suffocation. Police sued the hospital for alleged safety violations and arrested its management, and the government canceled the hospital's license. "It's a very serious offense," said the state's chief minister.

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