10 babies die in Maharashtra hospital fire: 'Heart-wrenching,' says PM Modi
In a tragic incident, 10 babies died after a fire broke out at a hospital in Maharashtra at around 2 AM. Seventeen babies in total were admitted in the Special Newborn Care Unit (SNCU) of the four-storied hospital in Bhandara district of Maharashtra, of which only seven could be rescued.
Terming the incident as a “heart-wrenching tragedy,” PM Narendra Modi condoled the deaths of 10 infants in his Twitter post.
The seven who were admitted in the inborn ward of the unit were rescued, but 10 babies who were in the outbound ward and could not be rushed out in time. The ones who lost their lives in the fire were aged between a few days and three months, according to media reports.
District civil surgeon Pramod Khandate added that the fire broke out at around 2 am on Saturday. Nurses on duty first noticed the smoke coming out of the neonatal care unit and then raised the alarm added the reports. According to Khandate, smoke from the fire led to the babies suffocating.
The cause of the fire is yet to be ascertained, but short-circuiting is believed to have set-off the blaze.
While ordering a probe into the incident, CM Uddhav Thackeray spoke with the State Health Minister Rajesh Tope who in a statement said that the CM “spoke to the district collector and police superintendent and asked them to probe the fire.” He added, “As I have been told, a short circuit caused the fire. The staff - nurses, ward boys - saved seven babies. Seven newborns died due to suffocation, and three others died due to the blaze.”
The statement also added that the bodies of the babies were given back without a post-mortem. Deputy CM Ajit Pawar has ordered an audit of the neonatal care units of all private and government hospitals.