13 Covid-19 patients die in Maharashtra hospital fire

Our Buerau Virar | Updated on April 23, 2021

Fire was preceded by an explosion in the AC unit of the intensive care unit

Maharashtra was struck with a third tragedy in the early hours of Friday morning, as a fire erupted in the intensive care unit of a hospital in Virar, Palghar district, killing 13 Covid patients in the blaze.

A similar tragedy had struck on Wednesday at the Dr Zakir Hussain Hospital in Nashik district where 24 Covid patients on life support died after a leak in a medical oxygen tank disrupted the supply of gas. On January 9 at the Bhandara Civil Hospital near Nagpur, 10 newborn children died after a fire broke out at the newborn care unit.

Virar town is a distant suburb of Mumbai and home to a large number of office workers.

The fire broke out in the ICU on the second floor of the four-storeyed Vijay Vallabh Hospital shortly after 3 am. Firefighters extinguished the blaze at 5.20 am. The fire was preceded by an explosion in the AC unit of the intensive care unit, a police official said.

There were 17 patients in the ICU when the fire broke out. Four patients were rescued and shifted to other hospitals in the area, the police official added.

A statement issued by the Chief Minister office said Uddhav Thackeray has ordered the remaining patients to be shifted to other hospitals so that they are not affected by the accident. Thackeray has spoken to the concerned officials and has ordered a preliminary investigation into the incident. The investigation will also inspect whether adequate fire fighting systems were present in the private hospital. As compensation, Rs 5 lakh would be paid to the relatives of the dead and Rs 1 lakh to the seriously injured.

Former Chief Minister and Leader of Opposition, Devendra Fadnavis tweeted that he is deeply pained to know about the loss of lives in the Virar COVID Hospital ICU fire. "We demand an in-depth inquiry and strong action against those responsible," the tweet said.

(With agency inputs)


Published on April 23, 2021

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