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Ahmedabad: Fire in Covid hospital kills 8, Govt starts inquiry

Our Bureau Ahmedabad | Updated on August 06, 2020 Published on August 06, 2020

PM announces ex-gratia of Rs 2 lakh each for the lives lost in the tragic incident

As many as eight patients, under treatment for Covid-19, lost lives after a major fire broke out at a private hospital in Ahmedabad early hours on Thursday.

The blaze, which is believed to have been triggered from a short-circuit at one of the ICUs at the hospital at around 3 am, claimed lives of five men and three women who were admitted at a Covid-19 ward at the ICU.

The State Chief Minister Vijay Rupani has ordered an inquiry into the cause of the incident. A committee of two senior bureaucrats, Additional Chief Secretary of Home department Sangeeta Singh and Additional Chief Secretary of Urban Development, Mukesh Puri, has been constituted and assigned the task to fix the responsibility in the incident. The committee will submit a detailed report within three days.

The Fire and Emergency Services of Ahmedabad had deployed about 15 vehicles to douse the fire, which had completely engulfed the fourth floor of the hospital.

The hospital located in a posh Navrangpura area of the city, has been sealed after the incident. The 50-bed Covid-19-designated hospital had about 49 patients under treatment, of which, eight lost their life and the remaining patients were safely evacuated and shifted to the Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation (AMC)-run Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel hospital.

While the Forensic Science Laboratory (FSL) and local police has started investigation into the incident at the site and the Police has detained one of the trustees of the Hospital for inquiry.

Expressing grief over the incident, Prime Minister Narendra Modi tweeted, "Saddened by the tragic hospital fire in Ahmedabad. Condolences to the bereaved families. May the injured recover soon. Spoke to CM @vijayrupanibjp Ji and Mayor @ibijalpatel Ji regarding the situation. Administration is providing all possible assistance to the affected."

The PMO has announced the ex-gratia of Rs 2 lakh each from the Prime Minister's National Relief Fund (PMNRF) to the next of kin of those who have lost their lives and Rs 50,000 each for the injured.

In a separate announcement, the Chief Minister condoled the deaths and declared Rs 4 lakh assistance to the heirs of the deceased and Rs 50,000 to those injured from the Chief Minister's Relief Fund.

Meanwhile, the Government has launched a massive drive across the State to check the fire preparedness at the hospital establishments especially those dealing with Covid-19 patients. Primarily it was found that many of the hospitals in major cities like Ahmedabad, Rajkot and Vadodara were found to have either an out-of-date fire No-Objection Certificate (NOC) or expired fire extinguishers. The Fire department has been asked to take strict action against any laxity in the fire safety rule compliance.

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Published on August 06, 2020
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