(G.N.S) Dt. 9
Fire at a Maharashtra government hospital in Bhandara in the early hours of Saturday. At least 10 newborns died in this accident.
Bhandara Collector Sandeep Kadam told media sources that the fire broke out in the outborn section of the hospital around 1.30 am. “At the time, there were two nurses and a helper in the children’s ward. They immediately raised an alarm. The fire brigade was called out. But, before it arrived, staffers tried to rescue the children and managed to save seven infants.”
Bhandara Collector Sandeep Kadam also said that, “Rescue efforts were affected by continuous explosions inside the ward. The staffers couldn’t rescue all the children. Asked if a short-circuit was the probable cause of the fire, Kadam said, “It is too early to say anything.”
Bhandara District Health Officer Dr Prashant Uike said the SNCU is a 36-bed ward. “As on Friday night, 17 children were admitted. The seven who were rescued and have been admitted to another ward. We do not plan to move them to another hospital yet.”
The ages of the deceased children ranged between a few days to a few months.
Civil Surgeon Dr Pramod Khandate said, “Most newborns died due to suffocation. One baby had fatal burn injuries, and two others had minor burns injuries. The rest inhaled a lot of smoke.”
Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray ordered a probe after speaking to state Health Minister Rajesh Tope as well as the district collector and superintendent of police of Bhandara district. Thackeray said the government will conduct an audit of all neo-natal care units across the state to ensure safety. Tope is en route to Bhandara.
The state government also announced Rs 5 lakh as compensation to the kin of the deceased. No post-mortems were conducted, and the bodies were handed over to the families.