Pune: At least 11 coronavirus patients were killed and another one suffered serious burn injuries after a major fire broke out in the ICU of the district civil hospital in Maharashtra's Ahmednagar city on Saturday, officials said.
At least 10 coronavirus patients were killed and another one suffered serious burn injuries after a major fire broke out in the ICU of the district civil hospital in Maharashtra's Ahmednagar city on Saturday, officials said.
The blaze erupted around 11 am in the intensive care unit (ICU), where 20 COVID-19 patients were undergoing treatment, they said.
Rajendra Bhosale, district collector of Ahmednagar, located around 120 kms from here, confirmed that 10 patients died in the blaze, which also left one patient critical. Later, another person succumbed to injuries, increasing the death toll to 11.
The fire was doused around 1.30 pm and the cooling operation is on, Misal said, adding that short circuit is suspected to be the cause behind it.
A police official said that after the fire, the injured patients were rushed to a nearby hospital, where 10 of them were declared brought dead.
Bhosale said, "The bodies of all 10 victims were then sent for post-mortem and the reason behind their death - whether it was caused due to suffocation or due to disruption in medical oxygen supply- is being investigated."
Expressing grief over the incident, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi said, "My condolences to the kin of those who lost their lives. I appeal to congress workers to assist in the relief work."
Expressing grief over the tragedy, Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray ordered a probe into the incident and directed the administration to ensure that those responsible for it get strict punishment.
On learning about the incident, Thackeray spoke to district guardian minister Hassan Mushrif and state chief secretary Sitaram Kunte, and asked them to ensure that other patients admitted there should get proper treatment without any disturbance, a statement from the Chief Minister's Office (CMO) said.
BJP leader Devendra Fadnavis described the incident as "very shocking and disturbing".
"My deepest condolences to the families who lost their loved ones in Nagar Civil Hospital ICU Fire incident. Praying for speedy recovery of the injured," he said in a tweet.
He demanded an "in-depth inquiry" into the incident and called for strict action against those responsible for it.
In April this year, 15 COVID-19 patients had died in a blaze at the ICU of a private hospital in the Palghar district of Maharashtra.
Another fire in March at Dreams Mall in Mumbai's Bhandup, which housed a Covid-designated hospital, had claimed the lives of nine such patients.