Updated: November 9, 2021 10:06:47 am
At least four infants died late Monday in a fire that broke out in the children’s ward of the Kamla Nehru Hospital, which is located within the premises of Bhopal’s state-run Hamidia Hospital.
Officials said the fire broke out in a general ward and a NICU ward. They said that 36 of the 40 infants in the ward were rescued while four, who were already in a critical condition, succumbed in the blaze.
#Update: An official said he has no information about any causality at present, but worried family members of children admitted in the hospital were seen outside the medical facility.
“Prima facie, the cause of the fire seems to be a short-circuit,” Medical Health Education Minister Vishwas Sarang said. Sarang also pointed out that by the time he reached the spot, the lights were out and the ward was filled with smoke making it difficult to see.
“Our priority was the rescue of the infants and we rushed them to an adjoining ward with our own hands. They were underweight infants who were admitted in critical condition,” Sarang told media after coming out of the hospital.
Minutes earlier, Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan had tweeted that three children “could not be saved” as “they were already seriously ill”. Describing the deaths as “an unbearable pain”, Chouhan said that a high-level inquiry would look into what went wrong.
Meanwhile, Rais Khan, a resident of Rajgarh in the state whose 10-day-old grandson was admitted in the general ward, a spark and heave smoke led to chaos.
“Before we could understand what had happened, the hospital staff pushed us out,” he said, adding that he was still not sure about the status of his infant grandson.
An additional team of doctors was rushed in to look after the infants. Sarang further added that there were two doctors per patient to ensure that their condition is stable.
Officials said 13 fire tenders were rushed to the spot to tackle the fire, which is said to have started around 8:45 pm.
Congress MLA from Bhopal, Arif Masood, who was present at the spot, said: “This is the second incident reported in the same building. An inquiry has been ordered but the reason behind these incidents should be thoroughly investigated and those responsible should be punished.”
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