At least three of the 10 infants died of burn injuries in the Bhandara district hospital fire in Maharashtra while seven others died of suffocation caused by smoke , Health Minister Rajesh Tope said, adding that a probe has been ordered and the guilty will not be spared.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi tweeted his anguish over the incident
Heart-wrenching tragedy in Bhandara, Maharashtra, where we have lost precious young lives. My thoughts are with all the bereaved families. I hope the injured recover as early as possible.
— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) January 9, 2021
Home Minister Amit Shah tweeted his condolences
The fire accident in Bhandara district hospital, Maharashtra is very unfortunate. I am pained beyond words. My thoughts and condolences are with bereaved families. May God give them the strength to bear this irreparable loss.
— Amit Shah (@AmitShah) January 9, 2021
Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray has expressed grief over the death of newborn babies in the fire and ordered a probe. Thackeray spoke to Health Minister Rajesh Tope soon after learning about the incident, as per a statement issued by the Chief Minister’s Office.
‘The chief Minister has ordered a probe in the entire incident. He spoke to the district collector and police superintendent and asked them to probe the fire,’ the statement said. He said Rs 5 lakh would be paid to family members of each of the deceased infant.
According to doctors, ten newborn babies, aged between a month and three months, died after fire broke out in the Special Newborn Care Unit of the hospital around 1.30 am. Seven out of the 17 babies in the affected unit were rescued.
“The preliminary information available indicated that three infants died from burn injuries in the Bhandara district civil hospital while suffocation caused by smoke is the cause of the death of seven other infants,” Tope said in a video message.
He said the hospital staff saved seven other infants admitted in the affected Neonatal Intensive Care Unit.
“The medical staff on duty opened the windows and doors of the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit wards and shifted the infants to adjoining wards. However, they could not save the 10 infants,” he said.
He said the bodies have been sent to their respective homes for conducting the last rites. “Persons responsible for this incident will not be spared. A detailed inquiry is ordered. We will try to avoid such incidents in future by learning from this tragedy,” he added. Tope said he was rushing to the Bhandara civil hospital.