Health Minister of Odisha Atanu Sabyasachi Nayak handed his resignation to Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Friday, in the aftermath of the massive fire that broke out in Bhubaneshwar's SUM Hospital. The toll in the blaze rose to 24 early on Friday after three more people succumbed to their injuries.

Since the fire broke out on October 17, the state government under Patnaik has come under scrutiny for allowing SUM Hospital, and a number of others, to operate while flouting fire safety norms. The National Human Rights Commission had issued a notice to the Odisha government on Wednesday and a police case was also filed against the facility the day after the fire.

Chairman of SUM Hospital Manoj Nayak had surrendered before the local police, and was subsequently arrested, on Thursday, after absconding since the fire broke out in the dialysis ward at the facility. Nayak is a businessperson with ventures in education, television channels and newspapers. More than 100 people were injured in the blaze.