A fire broke out outside the neo-natal intensive care unit in Deep hospital in Model town here on Tuesday. Intense smoke engulfed the hospital, even as patients and the hospital staff panicked and shifted to other wards.
An eyewitness said that the fire broke out in the corridors outside the unit due to a short circuit around 4 pm. Nursing staff noticed the fire first and informed the higher officials and the fire was put under control.
As many as 23 new-born babies were under going treatment in the ward when the incident took place. Five babies were also on the ventilator.
A mother clutched her newborn and ran down the stairs. She later said: "Infants had a providential escape as it could have been fatal. We will ask the hospital authorities to look into the lapses as such incidents can play havoc with so many lives."
Commenting on the incident, a doctor pointed out the necessity for the authorities concerned to ensure fire safety norms in hospitals.
He added that a zero-tolerance must be adopted in the enforcement of norms related to fire-safety norms.
Dr. Baldeep Singh of the Deep hospital said that the fire broke out due to shot circuit and it was minor fire incident. He said that all the babies were safe and were transferred to the other ward. Later, they were all shifted to the neonatal intensive care unit.