13 Covid patients killed in fire in the ICU of Maharashtra hospital

Our Bureau Mumbai | Updated on April 23, 2021

Health workers shift patients from the Vijay Vallabh Covid care hospital after a fire in Virar West, on the outskirts of Mumbai, on Friday   -  PTI

Blaze broke out on the second floor of Vijay Vallabh Hospital

Yet another tragedy struck Maharashtra when a fire erupted in the intensive care unit of a hospital in Virar, in the Palghar district, in the early hours of Friday, killing 13 Covid patients .

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.

Four patients rescued

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.

The horrific event has occurred close on the heels of Wednesday’s medical oxygen tank leak that led to the death of 24 Covid patients on life support at Dr Zakir Hussain Hospital in Nashik district.

Also read: 24 Covid patients in Nashik dead as tanker leak affects oxygen supply

Probe ordered

A statement issued by the Chief Minister’s office said that Uddhav Thackeray has ordered the remaining patients to be shifted to other hospitals so that they are not affected by the accident. Thackeray spoke with the officials concerned 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.

A compensation of ₹5 lakh would be paid to the relatives of the deceased and ₹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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