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Gorakhpur: Nine children died on Aug 9 when CM Adityanath was in hospital, claim parents

Grieving parents claim the chief minister was not informed of the deaths while he was at the premises to review the facilities.

india Updated: Aug 17, 2017 22:25 IST
HT Correspondents
HT Correspondents
Hindustan Times, Lucknow/Gorakhpur
Gorakhpur tragedy,Gorakhpur,Uttar Pradesh
A mother cradles her child inside the encephalitis ward at the Baba Raghav Das Medical College in Gorakhpur, on August 15, 2017. (Deepak Gupta/HT Photo)

As many as nine children admitted to BRD Medical College in Gorakhpur died in the three-and-a-half hours Uttar Pradesh chief minister Yogi Adityanath spent at the facility on August 9 afternoon.

No one, however, informed the CM even as the staff ensured that grieving parents made no noise and slinked away with the bodies, according to an eyewitness who lost his son at the hospital a day later.

All nine deaths were in the encephalitis ward.

“The doctors told the parents to quietly take away the bodies through the ward’s rear door because the CM was holding a meeting,” Shailendra Gupta of Jainpur village told HT.

“The ward boy wrapped the bodies in bed sheets and told the attendants to move out without making noise. The medical officers did not want any disturbance in the CM’s presence,” Gupta, whose son too was in the ward, added.

Incidentally, the CM had visited the ward before getting into a meeting to review facilities at the hospital. The 100-bed ward was overflowing. At least 200 patients were admitted and many were forced to share beds, according to Gupta.

After the review meeting, the then principal of BRD Medical College, Rajiv Mishra (now suspended) handed over a memorandum to the CM seeking Rs 11 crore for the purchase of medicines, equipment and payment of arrears to employees.

The CM, however, was not informed about the deaths and oxygen crisis.

“There were five children on the bed with my son that day. Two of them died,” said Gupta. He alleged that children were in distress due to disruption in oxygen supply. “Children were gasping for breath. When we told the doctors, they gave us artificial manual breathing unit (AMBU) bags and asked us to keep pressing the bag to supply oxygen to the children.”

Gupta added, “I kept pumping the AMBU bag to save my child’s life after the doctors expressed helplessness in restoring oxygen supply. On August 10, my son passed away.”

Radheyshyam, a resident of Khorabar, whose daughter was also admitted to the ward, said oxygen supply was completely disrupted on the night of August 10. “Around two dozen children, including my daughter, died within hours,” he added.

First Published: Aug 17, 2017 22:24 IST