Maharashtra Ahmednagar hospital fire toll rises to 11

Maharashtra's Ahmednagar hospital fire toll rises to 11

Maharashtra CM Uddhav Thackeray has declared an ex-gratia of Rs 5 lakh to the next of kin of the deceased

Screengrab of video. Credit: Twitter/@kumarsubodh_

In a shocking incident, at least 11 patients died and six others were injured after a fire broke out in the ICU of the civil hospital in Ahmednagar district of Maharashtra on Saturday.

This is the sixth big incident of a tragedy involving a hospital this year in the state.

Those in the ICU were Covid-19 patients or being treated for post-Covid ailments. Majority of those who died were senior citizens.

Short-circuit in the ICU seems to have triggered the fire, reports said.

The Maharashtra government has ordered a probe, headed by the divisional commissioner, into the incident and called for a report in a week’s time.

Expressing shock over the incident, Maharashtra chief minister Uddhav Thackeray announced an ex-gratia of Rs 5 lakh to the next of kin of the deceased.

State public health and family welfare minister Rajesh Tope said that a probe has been instituted and no one will be spared. “Responsibilities would be fixed,” he said.

Ahmednagar district collector Rajendra Bhosale said that initial reports show that a short circuit caused the fire. “A total of 17 persons were there in the ICU, of which 10 have died…the rest are being treated,” he said.

Another person died in hospital while being treated - taking the toll to 11.

There are two ICUs in Ahmednagar civil hospital - one on the ground floor and another on the second floor, where the fire broke out around 11 am.

Hospital staff, aided by locals and rescue teams, managed to shift many patients from the neighbouring wards.

Whether a fire audit was conducted by the hospital - as mandated by the government - needs to be ascertained.

According to Tope, majority of the deceased were senior citizens. “They were on ventilators, recovering from Covid-19 and in post-Covid treatment,” he added.

“The electricity inspection department has reached the incident spot. The inspection team will start its inquiry after the police panchnama is completed," energy minister Dr Nitin Raut said.

 

Meanwhile, prime minister Narendra Modi, union home minister Amit Shah have expressed shock over the incident. “My condolences are with the families,” he said.

 

Expressing shock over the incident, leader of opposition Devendra Fadnavis said: “An in-depth inquiry should be conducted and strict action against all responsible people.”

 

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