Lax safety cited in deadly Indian hospital fire

By MANIK BANERJEE | December 10, 2011 | 1:05 AM EST

Rescue workers use ropes to evacuate a person after a fire engulfed a hospital, in Kolkata, India, Friday, Dec. 9, 2011. Medical staff at the hospital abandoned their patients and fled for safety early Friday as fire and smoke poured through the building, leaving many dead from smoke inhalation, officials said. (AP Photo)

KOLKATA, India (AP) — Officials say a hospital in eastern India where a fire killed 90 people failed to update safety procedures despite being ordered to do so a few months ago.

Most of the victims suffocated on black smoke that filled AMRI Hospital's rooms and corridors Friday after medical staff fled the seven-story building in Kolkata, formerly known as Calcutta.

West Bengal state officials say the hospital did not have proper firefighting equipment. Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee yanked the hospital's license and said it had failed since September to address safety concerns about its basement, where the fire started.

Police have charged six hospital directors with culpable homicide.