11 COVID-19 patients die in fire at Maharashtra hospital
At least 11 patients died and several others sustained serious injuries after a fire broke out in the intensive care unit (ICU) of a civil hospital in Maharashtra's Ahmednagar city on Saturday morning. The blaze erupted in the hospital's COVID-19 ward, in which 17 patients were admitted, reports said. The remaining patients were reportedly shifted to a COVID-19 ward in another hospital.
What do we know about the incident?
According to reports, the incident happened at around 11 am. After receiving information about the fire, the police and fire brigade rushed to the spot and began the rescue and fire fighting operation, PTI reported. The fire department reportedly pressed three fire tenders and water tankers into action. The blaze was reportedly doused at around 1:30 pm, and the cooling operation was underway.
The cause of the fire still unknown: Reports
The cause of the fire is still not confirmed. District Collector Rajendra Bhosle said the preliminary investigation by the fire department suggests the fire started due to a short circuit. A fire audit of the structure had also been conducted, Bhosle added. Ahmednagar SP Manoj Patil told The Indian Express a thorough probe would be conducted to determine the reason and sequence of events.
Maharashtra CM announces Rs. 5 lakh ex gratia
Meanwhile, Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray has announced Rs. 5 lakh ex gratia for the families of those who died. Expressing his condolences over the death of COVID-19 patients in the incident, Thackeray has also ordered a probe into the incident.
You can watch the video of the fire here
Here is the list of all those who died
The deceased were identified as: Sitaram Dagdu Jadhav (83) of Bakhtapur, Bhivaji Sadashiv Pawar (80) of Parner, Ramkisan Vitthal Harpude (70) of Nevasa. Kondabai Madhukar Kadam (70) of Kedgaon, Chababi Ahmed Sayyad (65) of Shendi, Satyabhama Shivaji Ghodchaure (65) of Nevasa. Kadubal Gangadhar Khatik (65) of Nevasa, Asrabai Govind Nangare (58) of Shevgaon, Deepak Vishwanath Jagdale (37) of Sangamner, and an unidentified 58-year-old man.
Here are the names of those injured
Those injured include Lakshman Vitthal Thorat (85) of Pathardi, Ramabai Panjaram Vidhate (70) of Nevasa, Godabai Popat Sasane (70) of Shrigonda, Yamuna Tatyaram Kamble (65) of Kedgaon, Lakshman Asraji Savalkar (60) of Shevgaon, Santosh Dharmaji Thokal (40) of Beed, and Ankush Pavar (40) of Rahuri.
Leaders across party lines expressed their condolences to the victims
Leaders across the party lines have expressed their condolences to the victims. Taking to Twitter, PM Narendra Modi said he was "anguished by the loss of lives." "Condolences to the bereaved families. May the injured recover at the earliest," he added. Offering his condolences to the kin of those who died, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi asked party workers "to assist in the relief work."
Fadnavis demands strict action against all responsible for the incident
Separately, former Maharashtra CM and Leader of Opposition in the state, Devendra Fadnavis, termed the incident "very shocking and disturbing." Calling for "in-depth inquiry" into the incident, Fadnavis also demanded "strict action" against those responsible for the incident.