Maharashtra, today, witnessed a major fire at the Bhandara District General Hospital which led to the death of 10 newborn babies due to suffocation. Seven infants were rescued.
According to NewsBytes, the incident happened at the Sick Newborn Care Unit of the hospital at around 2 am. All the infants were merely one to three months old. As per sources, a nurse saw smoke coming out of the neonatal section in the four-storied building. She immediately alerted the authorities, and the fire brigade was contacted.
Several ICU patients, those undergoing dialysis, and patients in the labor room were also rescued. Subsequently, they were shifted to other wards. "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," said Dr Pramod Khandate, a civil surgeon at the hospital.
While the exact cause of the fire is unknown, there has been speculation that an electrical short circuit caused the fire. Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray's office disclosed that he has spoken to the state Health Minister Rajesh Tope and has ordered a probe.
"An ex-gratia of ₹5 lakh each to be provided to the kin of the deceased in the fire incident at Bhandara District General Hospital," said the health minister of the state.
The incident left a lot of people in shock, with PM Modi taking it to his Twitter account and addressing the families of the young ones. Along with this, Home Minister Amit Shah also shared his condolences to the families. Actor Ritesh Deshmukh also shared a tweet demanding a probe and telling that "No parent deserves to go through such an incident."
The Health Minister also confirmed that the bodies of infants were given without post-mortem. Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar has also ordered an audit of the neonatal care units of all government and private hospitals, said an NDTV report.