5 dead as fire breaks out at Covid hospital in Gujarat

5 Covid-19 patients killed as fire breaks out at Gujarat hospital

The fire broke out in the ICU of Uday Shivanand Hospital in Mavdi area, where 33 patients were admitted, around 1 am on Friday

Seven of the patients were admitted to the ICU, fire brigade official J B Theva said. Credit: iStock Photo

Five coronavirus patients were killed while six others suffered burn injuries after a fire broke out in the ICU of a designated Covid-19 hospital in Gujarat's Rajkot in the early hours of Friday. A short-circuit is said to have caused the fire.

This is the second deadly incident in which coronavirus patients were burnt to death in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU). Earlier in August, eight patients had succumbed in a similar incident in Ahmedabad.

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Fire officials said that the fire broke out in the ICU of Uday Shivanand hospital in Mavdi area, where a total of 33 patients were admitted. Officials said that the fire broke out at around 12:30.

The victims have been identified as Nitin Dadani, 61, a resident of Morbi, Ramsinh Loha, 62, a retired Assistant Sub-Inspector and a resident of Jasdan, Rasiklal Agrawat, 69, a resident of Gondal, Sanjay Rathod, 57, a resident of Rajkot and Keshu Akbari, 50, a resident of Rajkot. 

"Five patients have died in the incident. Prima facie, it seems that the short circuit was the reason but it needs a detailed inquiry," Rajkot district collector Ramya Mohan told DH.

Officials said that the condition of one of the six injured patients remains critical. Meanwhile, Chief Minister Vijay Rupani, who happens to be from Rajkot, ordered IAS officer AK Rakesh, additional chief secretary, Panchayats, Rural Housing and Rural Development, Gandhinagar, to probe the incident. Rupani also announced a compensation of Rs 4 lakh to be given to the family of the deceased.

Gujarat Congress president Amit Chavda termed the probe as an "eyewash" and said that "This is the fifth such incident in the past few months which shows the failure of the government."

In August, eight Covid-19 patients were killed in a similar incident at Shrey hospital in Ahmedabad. The police arrested the managing trustee of the hospital Bharat Mahant who was released on bail hours after his arrest. He was booked for causing death due to criminal negligence, section 304A of IPC, triable by a magisterial court.

Meanwhile, the police has registered a case of accidental death and set up a special investigation team to probe the incident.