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    Published On : Sat, Jan 9th, 2021

    10 babies die in Bhandara district hospital fire; CM Uddhav orders probe

    Nagpur: Ten newborn babies died after fire broke out in the Special Newborn Care Unit of a hospital in Bhandara Maharashtra in the wee hours on Saturday, doctors said.

    All the infants were between a month and three months old, a doctor said.

    Fire broke out in the Bhandara district hospital at around 2 am, he said.

    There were 17 babies in the unit and seven were rescued, he added.

    Civil surgeon Dr Pramod Khandate told media that three to four babies were charred to death while the rest of the casualties happened as oxygen supply was cut.

    Another doctor said a nurse first noticed smoke coming out from the neonatal section of the hospital and alerted doctors and other staff who reached there in five minutes.

    Fire brigade personnel rescued seven babies from the ‘inbound ward’ of the unit but could not save the 10 other babies, he said.

    The cause of the fire in the four storeyed building is not known but could have been the result of an electrical short circuit, he said.

    Prima facie it appears that the fire broke out following a short circuit. A doctor and a nurse were on duty at the time of the incident.

    The fire brigade was deployed and the blaze was brought under control.

    Dr Khandate said some babies were delivered at the hospital while others were brought from outside.

    The rescued babies were shifted to the other units.

    “The staff tried their best to save the babies. Top officials, including deputy director of health services Sanjay Jaiswal, district collector Sandeep Kadam and SP, visited the spot,” he said.

    The exact cause of death would be ascertained after postmortem, the doctor said, adding, relatives were yet to be informed.

    Maharashtra chief minister Uddhav Thackeray spoke to health minister Rajesh Tope as well as district collector and superintendent of police of Bhandara district. He has also ordered a probe.

    Maharashtra health minister Rajesh Tope has announced an ex-gratia of Rs 5 lakh each to the kin of the deceased.

    Union home minister Amit Shah has expressed grief over the fire incident.

    “I am pained beyond words. My thoughts and condolences are with bereaved families,” tweeted the Union home minister.

    Prime minister Narendra Modi has also expressed grief over the tragic incident.

    “Heart-wrenching tragedy in Bhandara, Maharashtra, where we have lost precious young lives,” tweeted PM Modi.

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