At least 16 COVID patients and two nurses were killed after a major fire broke out in the Intensive Care Unit of Gujarat's Bharuch Welfare hospital at 1:00 am on Saturday.
According to The Indian Express, when the fire broke out at the COVID wing of the Welfare Hospital in Bharuch, there were 24 patients in the ICU. Many of the survivors have been taken to nearby hospitals after being rescued by locals and firefighters.
Bharuch SP Rajendrasinh Chudasma said that in the incident, 16 patients and two nurses died, while others were transferred to private hospitals. Before it could spread to other locations, the fire was brought under control. The cause of the fire is yet to be determined, and the matter is under investigation.
The Bharuch district police said that the hospital had 57 patients, with 12 in ICU-1 and 12 in ICU-2 wards and the rest in the general COVID ward. Nine of the 16 people who died were women.
According to an eye witness, the fire engulfed the entire ICU ward, and most of the equipment inside, including the ventilators and the medication refrigerator, as well as the beds, were turned into ashes.
Charmy Gohil, who was on duty during the fire incident that took place, said that they noticed a flame in the ventilator of bed number 5 in the ICU-1 ward, and suddenly there was a fire. Two of my colleagues and I were in the ward. While they were trying to figure out what happened, their PPE kit caught fire and suddenly, the entire room was on fire. I managed to come out of the ward, but my PPE kit too caught fire," said Gohil.
Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani expressed his condolences on Twitter and announced a financial aid package of ₹4 lakh for the victims' families. The Chief Minister has sent two senior bureaucrats to Bharuch to conduct an investigation.