10 Dec 2011

Hospital directors arrested after blaze kills scores

8:46 am on 10 December 2011

Police in the Indian city of Calcutta investigating a fire at a privately run hospital which has killed at least 89 people have arrested six officials, including the owners.

The fire began in the hospital's basement, where flamable materials were stored, and swept through the multi-storey building.

Many of those who died were patients trapped on upper floors - most of them in the orthopaedic ward and the intensive care unit.

Survivors say most of the fire extinguishers did not work and locals say emergency services were slow to react.

Firefighters took five hours to bring the blaze under control.

West Bengal's chief minister Mamata Banerjee has described the fire as an "unforgiveable crime".

Six hospital directors have been charged with culpable homicide.