At least 18 coronavirus patients died after a fire broke out at a hospital in Gujarat’s Bharuch in the early hours on Saturday.
There were around 50 other patients at the four-storeyed Welfare Hospital when the fire broke out in the COVID-19 ward at 1 am. They were rescued by locals and firefighters, an official said.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi tweeted his condolences, Pained by the loss of lives due to a fire at a hospital in Bharuch. Condolences to the bereaved families.
Pained by the loss of lives due to a fire at a hospital in Bharuch. Condolences to the bereaved families.
— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) May 1, 2021
I express my condolences to the patients, doctors and hospital staff who lost their lives in the fire accident at Bharuch Hospital. The state government will provide assistance of Rs 4 lakh to the families of each of the victims of the accident, said Gujarat CM Vijay Rupani.
“The fire was so intense that the ICU ward was almost burnt to the ground. All the equipment inside, including the ventilators and the fridge used to store the medicines and also the beds, were turned to ashes,” an eyewitness said.
Some patients were charred beyond recognition and relatives found it difficult to identify their bodies.
The blaring of the ambulances and fire tenders could be heard in the hospital’s vicinity as dozens of such vehicles rushed to the hospital to douse the fire and also to shift the patients who survived the blaze to other hospitals.