In an unfortunate incident, as many as 16 patients of Covid-19 and two nurses died at a hospital in Gujarat’s Bharuch district after a fore broke out in the ICU ward on Saturday.
According to the sources, there were around 27 patients in the ICU at the time of the fire. The locals broke the glass windows and rescued some of the patients who were later shifted to nearby hospitals.
Two senior bureaucrats – Additional Chief Secretary (labour and employment) Vipul Mittra and Commissioner (municipalities) Rajkumar Beniwal – have been appointed by the CM Vijay Rupani to initiate probe into the matter.
An ex-gratia aid of Rs 4 lakh would be given to each of the next of kin of the victims from the Chief Minister’s Relief Fund, Rupani said, while expressing grief over the incident.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi, too, expressed his condolences, saying, “Pained by the loss of lives due to a fire at a hospital in Bharuch. Condolences to the bereaved families.”
Since last year, the hospital on the Jambusar bypass is being used to treat Covid-19 patients of the district.
Fire department sources said there were around 27 Covid patients in the ICU, some on ventilators. The fire broke out at around 1 am on Saturday.
Fire department officials believed that a short circuit might have led to the blaze when the patients were sleeping. After noticing the fire, the hospital staff tried to rescue the patients who were on ventilators. The locals, after hearing about the incident, also rushed to the spot to help.
Fire tenders, too, reached immediately and controlled the blaze within half-an-hour.
The rescued patients were rushed to private hospitals in Vaghra and Jambusar among other areas.