Mumbai- At least 10 infant died in a fire at government hospital in Maharashtra’s Bhandara in the early hours of Saturday.
“A fire broke out in the outborn section of the hospital around 1.30 am. At the time, there were two nurses and a helper in the children’s ward. They immediately raised an alarm. The fire brigade was called out. But, before it arrived, staffers tried to rescue the children and managed to save seven infants.” report said.
“Rescue efforts were affected by continuous explosions inside the ward. The staffers couldn’t rescue all the children.” said The Indian Express report,
Civil Surgeon Dr Pramod Khandate said, “Most newborns died due to suffocation. One baby had fatal burn injuries, and two others had minor burns injuries. The rest inhaled a lot of smoke.”
The outborn section is for children born at other places but referred to the government hospital for some kind of special treatment. It wasn’t immediately known how many were boys and how many were girls.
Hours of the incident, Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray ordered a probe after speaking to state Health Minister Rajesh Tope as well as the district collector and superintendent of police of Bhandara district. Thackeray said the government will conduct an audit of all neo natal care units across the state to ensure safety. Tope is en route to Bhandara.
The state government also announced Rs 5 lakh as compensation to the kin of the deceased. No post-mortems were conducted, and the bodies were handed over to the families.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi called the incident “heart-wrenching”. He tweeted, “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.”
Union Home Minister Amit Shah, meanwhile, said, “The fire accident in Bhandara district hospital, Maharashtra is very unfortunate. I am pained beyond words. My thoughts and condolences are with bereaved families. May God give them the strength to bear this irreparable loss.”
Congress leader Rahul Gandhi conveyed his condolences as well. “The unfortunate incident of fire at Bhandara District General Hospital in Maharashtra is extremely tragic. My condolences to the families of the children who lost their lives. I appeal to Maha Govt to provide every possible assistance to the families of the injured & deceased,” he wrote.