A fire audit had been carried out at the hospital, but all necessary systems were not in place due to lack of funds
Mumbai: In a shocking incident, 11 Covid patients including four male and seven female were killed in the fire, which broke out in an ICU unit of Ahmednagar district civil hospital on Saturday. The fire broke out due to a short-circuit at around 10.30 am in the ICU unit in the hospital affecting the oxygen supply to the patients.
The state government has ordered a probe into the incident. It also said that stern action would be taken against those responsible for the incident. Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Union home minister Amit Shah, Maharashtra chief minister Uddhav Thackeray, governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari and leader of opposition Devendra Fadnavis have expressed anguish over the death of innocent patients in the fire.
According to the sources, a fire audit had been carried out at the hospital, but all necessary systems were not in place due to lack of funds.
Officials said that most of the patients were senior citizens, and many of them were on ventilators or oxygen support, which made the rescue operation more complicated. Of the 17 admitted patients, 10 were killed before they could be rescued and a male patient, who was injured in fire, succumbed to his injuries around 5 pm in the evening.
Speaking with this newspaper, Ahmednagar district collector Rajendra Bhosale said that the prima-facie the cause of the fire appears to short-circuit in the electricity wires of the hospital.
Nashik divisional commissioner Radhakrishna Game would conduct an inquiry into it.
Mr. Bhosale said that a fire audit had been carried out, but despite that an unfortunate incident took place.
Maharashtra revenue minister Balasaheb Thorat visited the hospital. Mr. Thorat told this paper that due to short circuit, the fire erupted in the ICU unit of the hospital and later it may have intensified due to the sanitizers, which are kept near the beds.
“There were 11 patients on the ventilator and six patients were on oxygen in the ICU unit of the hospital,” Mr. Thorat said. Actual cause of the death of patients would be known after the postmortem of the deceased whether they were killed due to suffocation or burns.