10 newborn babies die in major fire at hospital in Maharashtra; Ex-gratia announced


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The major fire mishap took place at the Sick Newborn Care Unit (SNCU) of Bhandra District General Hospital at 2 am.

In a tragic incident, ten newborn babies died in a massive fire that broke out in a child care unit of a hospital in Maharashtra’s Bhandra in the wee hours of Saturday.

A major fire mishap took place at the Sick Newborn Care Unit (SNCU) of Bhandra District General Hospital at 2 am. The infants were aged between a month and three months, a doctor said.

According to the district civil surgeon Pramod Khandate, there were 17 babies in the unit of whom seven could be rescued from the ‘inbound ward’ of the unit.

State’s Health Minister Rajesh Tope informed that three of the ten infants died of burn injuries while seven others died of suffocation caused by smoke.

Doctors and other staff were informed by a nurse about the blaze after noticing smoke coming out from the neonatal section of the hospital.

Khandate said that the ward where newborn babies are kept requires a continuous supply of oxygen. “There were fire extinguishers and staff used them while trying to douse the fire. There was too much smoke,” he said.

The information has been given to the parents of the deceased babies about the incident. The seven infants rescued in the blaze have been shifted to another ward. Patients from the ICU ward, dialysis wing and labour ward (a room in a hospital set aside for childbirth) were also shifted to other wards safely.

The cause of the blaze in the four-storeyed building is ascertained to have caused due to an electrical short circuit.

CM Thackeray orders probe

Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray has expressed grief over the death of newborn babies and ordered a probe.

Thackeray also spoke to state’s Health Minister soon after he learnt about the incident which occurred in the child care unit in the hospital.

An ex-gratia of Rs 5 lakh each to the kin of the deceased, is announced by the state government.

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