Maharashtra: Major fire at hospital kills 10 babies, seven rescued
In a terrible incident, ten newborn children died of suffocation after a fire broke out in a Maharashtra hospital; seven others were rescued. The incident happened at the Sick Newborn Care Unit (SNCU) of Bhandara District General Hospital around 2 am. The infants were merely one month to three months old. Home Minister Amit Shah and former Congress President Rahul Gandhi expressed grief.
In the wee hours of Saturday, a nurse saw smoke emanating from the neonatal section, in the four-storied building, and immediately alerted authorities. The fire brigade was called, subsequently, and the officers managed to save seven babies. ICU patients, those recuperating in the dialysis wing, and expecting women in the labor room, were also rescued. They were shifted to other wards.
Dr. Pramod Khandate, a civil surgeon, informed that 17 newborn children were admitted to the ward, that requires a continuous supply of oxygen. "There were fire extinguishers and staff used them while trying to douse the fire. There was too much smoke. The fire brigade reached the spot and started the rescue operation with the help of the people in the hospital," he revealed.
While the exact cause of the fire was unknown at the time of publishing, there's a probability that an electrical short circuit sparked the blaze. A statement from Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray's office disclosed that he spoke to state Health Minister Rajesh Tope, the district collector, and Superintendent of Police of Bhandara district. "He has also ordered a probe," the CMO said.
Health Minister Tope declared, "An ex-gratia of Rs. 5 lakh each to be provided to the kin of the deceased in the fire incident at Bhandara District General Hospital."
The heart-wrenching episode left many shocked, with Shah hoping that the bereaved families find the strength to bear this loss. "The fire accident in Bhandara district hospital, Maharashtra is very unfortunate. I am pained beyond words, (sic)" Shah tweeted. Gandhi wrote, "The unfortunate incident of fire at Bhandara District General Hospital in Maharashtra is extremely tragic. (sic)" Defense Minister Rajnath Singh said he was "deeply saddened."
Taking to his Twitter account, PM Modi wrote, "Heart-wrenching tragedy in Bhandara, Maharashtra, where we have lost precious young lives. My thoughts are with all the bereaved families. I hope the injured recover as early as possible."
This is heart breaking and so so sad. No parent deserves to go through this. Prayers, strength and deepest condolences to the families who lost their child. There needs to be an inquiry, if it is due to negligence the guilty must be brought to justice. #MaharashtraHospitalFire https://t.co/M1NZUoIPoy— Riteish Deshmukh (@Riteishd) January 9, 2021