A blaze in the wee hours at a private hospital in Ahmedabad has left eight COVID-19 patients dead, a fire brigade official said in a report by news agency .
The victims include five men and three women, who were being treated at the ICU ward of the COVID-19 designated Shrey Hospital in Navrangpura area of Ahmedabad, the official said.
Reacting to the incident Prime Minister Narendra Moi 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.
— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) August 6, 2020
Fire broke out around 3.30 am on the fourth floor of the four-storey hospital, he said. Around 40 other COVID-19 patients at the facility were rescued and shifted to a civic hospital in the city, he said.
“Eight coronavirus patients admitted in the ICU ward of Shrey Hospital have died due to the fire, which has been doused,” said an official of the Ahmedabad Fire Department.
Primary investigations revealed that the fire was caused by an electrical short circuit, police said. “Forensic experts have arrived at the site for a detailed investigation,” said Assistant Commissioner of Police L B Zala.
Shrey Hospital is among the around 60 private hospitals designated as COVID-19 hospitals by the Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation.
Municipal Commissioner Mukesh Kumar, who reached the spot soon after the fire broke out, said an electric short circuit led to the blaze, which spread in the ICU ward within minutes.
Principal Health Secretary Jayanti Ravi also reached the spot and assured a thorough probe into the incident.
Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani has ordered an inquiry into the incident.
In a statement, the CMO said the probe will be conducted by two IAS officers, Additional Chief Secretary in Home Department Sangeeta Singh and ACS in Urban Development Department Mukesh Puri.
They have been asked to submit a report in three days, the statement said.
With 1,073 new coronavirus positive cases, Gujarat’s COVID-19 tally reached 66,777 on Wednesday. The number of deceased has gone up to 2,557, an official said.