17 Covid patients, two nurses killed in fire at Gujarat hospital
- At least 27 patients were undergoing treatment in the ICU of Patel Welfare Hospital and nearly 60 other patients were admitted in other wards when the fire erupted at midnight, police said.
At least 19 people, including 17 Covid patients, died after a fire at the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) of a hospital in Bharuch district on Saturday, officials said. Two nurses were also killed in the incident.
At least 27 patients were undergoing treatment in the ICU of Patel Welfare Hospital and nearly 60 other patients were admitted in other wards when the fire erupted at midnight, police said.
The hospital is located on Bharuch-Jambusar highway, nearly 200 km from Ahmedabad.
While the exact cause of the fire is yet to be ascertained, fire department officials suspect a leak in an oxygen cylinder may have led to the fire.
The fire was controlled within an hour and around 50 patients were shifted to nearby hospitals, officials said.
Officials in the fire department said that the building where the blaze erupted did not possess a no objection certificate (NOC) for fire safety.
“The hospital has two buildings. While the one where the incident occurred, did not have an NOC, another building had the document,” Bharuch regional fire officer Deepak Makhija told reporters.
Offering his condolences to the kin of the deceased, Gujarat chief minister Vijay Rupani announced an ex-gratia of Rs.4 lakh to the families of each of the deceased.
“I express my condolences to those who lost their lives in the fire at Bharuch hospital. The state government will provide assistance of ₹4 lakh to the families of each of the victims of the accident,” the chief minister said. The state government has ordered a judicial inquiry into the incident.
Two IAS officers, additional chief secretary (ACS), labour and employment, Vipul Mitra, and commissioner, municipalities administration, Raj Kumar Beniwal, were directed to probe the incident. The two have already left for Bharuch.
Earlier on March 26, four patients died while shifting after a fire broke out at a hospital in Surat.