After 11 people died last week in a fire at a hospital in Maharashtra’s Ahmednagar district, a medical officer and three staff nurses were detained on accusations of causing death by carelessness and culpable homicide not amounting to murder on Tuesday. According to Manoj Patil, Superintendent of Police, Ahmednagar Rural Police, medical officer Dr Vishakha Shinde and staff nurses Sapna Pathare, Asma Shaikh, and Channa Anant were detained under sections 304 and 304A of the Indian Penal Code (IPC).
Quoting Ahmednagar police, HT earlier reported that 70% of deaths were caused by smoke from the fire while the remaining died after directly getting caught in the blaze that broke out in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) of the Civil Hospital. Most of them were senior citizens undergoing treatment for coronavirus disease (Covid-19). In connection with the incident, an FIR was registered against unidentified persons under Section 304(A) of the IPC.
The fire broke out last Saturday at 11am on the ground floor of the hospital, where 17 patients were admitted, of which 15 were on either ventilator or oxygen support. While 10 patients died in the blaze at the spot, one person later succumbed to injuries.
After the incident, Maharashtra chief minister Uddhav Thackeray ordered an inquiry and sought a detailed report on the matter. Thackeray’s office said in a statement that the chief minister spoke to the district guardian minister Hasan Mushrif and chief secretary Sitaram Kunte as soon as he came to know about the incident, asking them to ensure medical attention to those in need.