10 Patients Die In Fire At Covid Ward In Maharashtra Hospital

Ahmednagar : At least 10 people have died in a massive fire outbreak at a district hospital in Maharashtra’s Ahmednagar. The fire broke out at ICU ward for COVID patients around 11 AM on Saturday. Another patient has been seriously injured.

The fire was in the hospital’s COVID-19 ward, in which 17 patients had been admitted.

The remaining patients have been shifted to a Covid ward in another hospital, District Collector Dr Rajendra Bhosle told reporters, adding that a ‘fire audit’ of the structure had been conducted.

“A total of 10 people died in a fire incident at Ahmednagar district hospital,” news agency ANI reported, quoting district collector Rajendra Bhosale. In a later update, the district collector added that there were 17 patients admitted with coronavirus disease (Covid-19) when the fire broke out at around 11 am. A short circuit seems to be the primary cause of the incident.

Devendra Fadnavis, leader of opposition in the Maharashtra assembly, expressed his shock over the news and sent his condolences to the families of the victims.

“Very shocking & disturbing news from Nagar,” posted Fadnavis from his personal handle on Twitter. “My deepest condolences to the families who lost their loved ones in the Nagar civil hospital ICU fire incident. Praying for the speedy recovery of the injured. An in-depth inquiry should be conducted and strict action should be taken against all responsible people.”

The cause of the blaze, which has now been extinguished, is as yet unknown, but preliminary investigations by the fire department suggest it started due to an electrical short circuit, Dr Bhosle said.

Visuals show smoke pouring out of the lower floors of the hospital. Others show some people slowly re-entering the ward after the fire was put out, with soot-stained walls and broken ceiling panels visible.

Other videos show the heart-breaking sight of doctors desperately trying to revive some of those caught in the fire, and those fortunate to be shifted out can be seen waiting in the courtyard.

An official inquiry will take place, the senior government official told reporters.

Maharashtra minister Nawab Malik said the ICU had been newly built for the express purpose of treating coronavirus patients, and the fact that a fire had broken out was a “very serious issue”.

Malik said all hospitals had been asked to undertake a ‘fire audit’ and that the Ahmednagar Civil Hospital’s report in this regard would be checked, and a thorough investigation would take place.

The minister also said Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray extended his condolences to the families of those who had died, and assured them of every possible support.

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