Piezoelectric Fires in Kolkata, India
by the BBC News
December 10, 2011
The BBC's Sanjoy Majumder: "There were about 160 patients at the hospital when the fire broke out"
At least 89 people have been killed in a fire that broke out in a hospital in the eastern Indian city of Calcutta (Kolkata), officials say. Most of the victims were patients who were trapped after the flames spread through the AMRI hospital.
The fire started in the multi-storey hospital's basement, where flammable materials were stored. Firefighters took five hours to control the blaze.
Six board members of the hospital have been arrested. They include hospital co-founders SK Todi and RS Goenka.
West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said the licence of the six-storey hospital in Dhakuria in the southern part of the city had been cancelled. She said the fire was an "unforgivable crime" and that those responsible would be given the harshest punishment.
A Upadhay, a senior vice-president of the AMRI hospital company, told Associated Press there were 160 patients in the 190-bed hospital. A spokesman for Manmohan Singh said the prime minister had "expressed shock and anguish over the loss of lives".
Many of the patients who died suffocated on fumes.
A number were rescued. "We have taken 50 patients to an adjacent hospital. The situation is grim at the moment," fire brigade chief Gopal Bhattacharya told Agence France-Presse news agency.
The BBC's Amitabha Bhattasali in Calcutta says bodies of patients wrapped in white sheets have been brought out by rescue workers.
Local people climbed into the hospital compound to rescue patients before fire engines arrived, our correspondent says. The narrow surrounding streets made it difficult for the rescue services to arrive quickly.
Subrata Mukherjee, state minister for public health engineering, accused senior hospital officials of running away after the fire broke out: "It was horrifying that the hospital authorities did not make any effort to rescue trapped patients."
There were also chaotic scenes when Ms Banerjee arrived. Relatives of patients complained that her convoy had blocked the passage of ambulances in the hospital complex.
Police resorted to a baton charge as the crowds moved forward to Ms Banerjee's car. "Stop it. What is this? No baton charge! Have you come here to beat up people?" the Times of India newspaper quoted Ms Banerjee as telling the officers.
Police told AP the six hospital officials arrested were being questioned on charges of culpable homicide and that they had surrendered voluntarily.
'A Lot of Bodies'
The fire had spread swiftly from the basement to the upper floors of the private hospital. The hospital's licence to operate has been cancelled
One rescued patient said: "The attendants woke me up and dragged me down the stairs. I saw 10-15 patients at the top of the stairs trying to get down."
Ananya Das, 35, who underwent surgery at the hospital on Thursday, said she was recovering when the fire broke out. "I managed to walk towards an exit and then climb out of a window. I saw a lot of bodies," she said.
One relative, Khokon Chakravathi, told AFP: "My mother is in the intensive care unit. She's 70 years old. I don't know if she is alive or not."
Fires in high-rise buildings are fairly common in the city. There have been at least 10 major incidents since 2008. Electrical short circuits have been responsible for most of these fires. More than 40 people died in a huge fire in a historic building in Calcutta in March last year.
Times of India
August 1, 2011
Kolkata: Several parts of the city plunged into darkness a little after 11 pm on Sunday.
Around 11.20 pm, the West Bengal State Electricity Distribution Company Limited's (WBSEDCL) 132 KV sub-station at Geerat in Kalyani caught fire, leading to its shutdown. This sub-station supplies power to the CESC grid in Kolkata. Within seconds, the power import point at Kasba failed. It is through this import point that CESC takes power from WBSEDCL for distribution in the city. Immediately thereafter, two thermal power generation units at Budge Budge shut down after the electronic precipitator system, built in to protect the grid from collapse in case of danger, tripped.
On Sunday evening, the power demand in the city was higher that usual due to the hot and humid weather. The exit of two CESC generation units and the power supplied by WBSEDCL led to a shortfall of over 600 MW, precipitating the crisis. CESC said efforts were on to restore the two stations at Budge Budge. The WBSEDCL spokesperson said senior engineers rushed to Geerat and Kasba to restore power at the earliest. Around 12.40 pm, power gradually started being restored to the affected areas.
These unusual fires are being caused all over the world by an unrecognized force: ultra-low frequency sound, far below the audible level of most humans. This infrasonic influence is building strong electrical currents in the metal objects like power station transformers, wheel-barrows and copper electrical wiring in the walls of homes, which then become hot enough to ignite the plastic sheathing surrounding the wires. In other cases, heated wires ignite bed mattresses and metal hangers ignite clothing.
The infrasound which is now being focused onto the Kolkata, India vicinity is being transduced by the Orion pyramids of present-day Giza, Egypt, which act as a nonlinear lensing system for resonantly balancing the geomagnetic fields of Earth as stimulated by coronal mass ejections from the increasingly active sun.
Kolkata, India (22.52°N 88.38°E) is 3,556 miles from the Giza pyramids, or 14.3% of the Earth's mean crcumference (of 24,892 miles). Other infrasound hotspots in India experiencing quite similar conditions include Ratria, Kakori, Mumbai, Charajpura, Thiruvananthapuram, Kishtwar, and Rangrik. Related events taking place in Fort Worth, Texas were captured on video, with giant plasma arches flashing from one power station to another over several city blocks. Another infrasound-related power surge event in Pekanbaru, Indonesia claimed several lives.
This website has covered many major stories involving infrasound resonance convergence points, including Llanidloes, Mawnan, Hull, Saffron Walden, Bridlington, Woodland, Bolton, Malta, Goa, Klai, Auckland, Sydney, Ontario, White Rock, Ranchlands, Panama, and in the US in Newport, Anderson, Kimberley, Rochester, Menomonee Falls, Pelham, Richmond, Wilmington, Virginia Beach, Nashville, Knoxville, Mobile, McCalla, northern Florida, Knob Noster, Denver, Seattle, Novato, Arroyo Grande and Atwater.
The cases have become so severe that spontaneous combustion of objects by piezoelectric induction has been recurring in spates - in areas such as Tenerife, Babura, Abuja, Bauchi, Jos, Omukondo, Onakaheke, Tsholotsho, Lalapansi, Goodhope, Mapuve, Bodibe, Hopewell, Landovica, Longford, Hull, Egham, Wisbech, Glasgow, Messina, Peschici, Berici, across northern Greece, Kota Baru, Kuala Lumpur, Santo Tomas, Bandar Seri Begawan, New Norcia, Rockhampton, Adelaide, Sydney, Georgetown, La Pampa, Melipilla, and in the US in Seattle, Soudan SP, Minneapolis, New Ulm, Colorado Springs, Pueblo, Anderson, San Mateo, Vallejo, San Francisco, Santa Barbara, Clovis, Calaveras, Haverhill, Peabody, Brentwood and New York City.