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Two nurses and neighbours dared the flames at East Delhi hospital and rescued 5 newborns on May 25 night

Referring to the staircase being used by the neighbours to rescue the babies from the Baby Care New Born hospital, one of the firemen recalled: 'The staircase leading to the first floor was very narrow. We took the babies and shifted them out. The neighbours helping us had also taken out some babies.”
Last Updated : 27 May 2024, 10:32 IST
Last Updated : 27 May 2024, 10:32 IST

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Daring the fire that broke out at East Delhi's Baby Care New Born hospital on the night of May 25— two nurses and five neighbours rushed to the rescue of newborn babies and saved five infants. A person living close to the hospital immediately called Vinay Narang, head of the C Block RWA and told him “Vinay ji, there’s been a blast inside the small hospital on the main road.”

The massive fire that broke out at the hospital claimed lives of seven newborn babies on Saturday.

Narang who had left the RWA minutes before the fire incident at the Baby Care New Born hospital, rushed to the spot. Sharing excerpts of what he witnessed when he reached the hospital, Narang told Indian Express: “I saw two nurses carrying a baby each, wrapped in bedsheets, in their hands. They were shouting for help.”

On hearing the screams, Narang said that another neighbour—Arunima Sharma who runs a school in the vicinity rushed to the hospital site. “I took one of the newborns from the nurses while Arunima carried the other. We rushed to my Ford Endeavor, which I had parked near my house, and I turned the AC on. We kept the babies inside, hoping the AC would help them,” Narang detailed recalling horror.

“Their tiny faces had turned black because of the soot,” said Arunima adding that she would never forget the faces of those babies. Seconds later, the two nurses who were already rescuing the infants told Narang and Sharma that there were more babies inside the burning hospital building. Recalling the moment, Narang told IE: "A couple on their scooter too saw the scene and stopped to help. We rushed back.”

He then recollected that fire tenders had started arriving to the spot and one other neighbour rang the Police Control Room while the fire department was also apprised of the situation at 11 32 pm. By this time, Narang added that another neighbour Inderdeep Singh joined in to help— and the five, including two nurses moved to the rear entrance of the hospital.

Singh borrowed a ladder which was used to climb up to the window of the hospital's first floor. “The window glass had already been broken… it opened right inside the neonatal room… The babies were right there in those small enclosures, wrapped in white cloth. The ventilators were shut. There was so much smoke inside that I couldn’t breathe… Some of them (babies) were crying. I picked them up one by one and handed them to the nurses and other neighbours standing next to the ladder,” IE quoted Singh as saying.

“We put these babies inside the car too,” Narang said and described that “Arunima and I then drove to a nearby nursing home in the area… but they refused to admit the babies. We pleaded for some time before rushing to the Advanced NICU hospital in Vivek Vihar. They took the babies.”

By the time fire tenders reached the spot, it was 11 45 in the night. One of the firefighters involved in the rescue operation detailed, “We saw massive flames coming out from every side of the two-floor building. It was sandwiched between two bigger four-storey residential buildings. One team was immediately deployed to extinguish the fire while another team simultaneously tried to enter the building.”

“The scale of the fire was such that it had started to engulf the neighbouring buildings and an electricity pole. Once we extinguished the flames, we entered from the front," he recalled and added: “There were half-burnt documents. The oxygen cylinders were lying burnt. The CCTV cameras too had been burnt. The walls were blackened by the fire… (medical) devices had burnt into a pile of charcoal.”

Referring to the staircase being used by the neighbours, the fireman asserted: “The staircase leading to the first floor was very narrow. We took the babies and shifted them out. The neighbours helping us had also taken out some babies.” He then stressed that they didn’t know if the babies were alive or not, and it was only later that they learnt six of them didn’t make it.

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Published 27 May 2024, 10:32 IST

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