Ten newborn babies died after a fire broke out at a hospital last night in Maharashtra’s Bhandara district. Seventeen babies were admitted at the Special Newborn Care Unit (SNCU) of the four-storeyed government hospital, which is located about 900 km from the state capital Mumbai. Out of these, seven children from the ‘outborn section’ of the unit were rescued by the fire brigade personnel.
District civil surgeon Pramod Khandate confirmed that the fire broke out at the Bhandara district general hospital at around 2 am.
Ten children died in a fire that broke out at Sick Newborn Care Unit (SNCU) of Bhandara District General Hospital at 2 am today. Seven children were rescued from the unit: Pramod Khandate, Civil Surgeon, Bhandara, Maharashtra pic.twitter.com/bTokrNQ28t
— ANI (@ANI) January 9, 2021
Khandate also revealed that the fire was first noticed by a nurse. When she saw smoke emerging from the neonatal section of the hospital, she immediately alerted doctors and other staff members. “Our staff extinguished the fire as soon as they could. The smoke led to the babies suffocating,” he told NDTV.
He elaborated that the ward in which newborn babies are kept requires a continuous supply of oxygen. The hospital staff tried to control the situation with the help of fire extinguishers but there was too much smoke, he said.
Parents of the deceased infants have been informed about the incident and the rescued babies have been shifted to another ward. Moreover, patients from the ICU ward, dialysis wing as well as the labour ward were also shifted to other wards safely.
The cause of the fire outbreak in the four-storeyed building is yet to be confirmed. However, an electrical short circuit is believed to have caused the fire. Bhandara Collector Sandeep Kadam told The Indian Express that the rescue efforts for the newborn children were affected by continuous explosions inside the ward. “The staffers couldn’t rescue all the children.”
Meanwhile, Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray expressed grief over the death of newborn babies and has ordered a probe into the incident. The state government also announced a compensation Rs 5 lakh each to the kin of the deceased.
Picture credit: VistaNews.ru
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