May 26, 2021 10:45:35 am
The driver of a private ambulance died and two family members of a Covid patient sustained injuries after an oxygen cylinder exploded at Kokri Vehniwal village in Nihal Singh Wala of Moga district late on Monday.
Police said that a 65-year-old Covid patient, Ajmer Singh, was referred from Sidhu Hospital of Moga to a level-3 facility but his family ferried him home instead as his condition was very critical.
“However, when the family reached their residence, the ambulance driver tried to adjust the oxygen cylinder which suddenly exploded and caught fire. The ambulance driver, identified as Satnam Singh (19), died in the incident while two family members of the patient — his daughter and son-in-law sustained injuries,” said Parsan Singh, DSP, Nihal Singh Wala.
Meanwhile, the driver’s family staged a protest at Moga Civil Hospital demanding that Satnam be accorded the status of a ‘frontline worker’ and the government announce adequate compensation and other benefits which are given to frontline workers who die in the line of duty.
Satnam’s father, Avtar Singh, said, “Just like government employees and other health workers who are dying in the line of duty in this Covid crisis, my son also laid his life while working. He was only trying to adjust the oxygen cylinder for the patient as no one else from the technical staff was accompanying the patient from the hospital. He should be declared a ‘frontline worker’ by the government and adequate compensation and other benefits which are given to other frontline workers should also be given to him.”
The DSP, meanwhile, said that family of the deceased did not file any written complaint against anyone as it was an ‘accident’. The body was handed over to the family after autopsy and inquest proceedings under section 174 of CrPC were filed at Ajitwal police station.
Moga deputy commissioner Sandeep Hans in a statement said that it was an unfortunate incident and an enquiry has been marked to Nihal Singh Wala sub-divisional magistrate (SDM) Ram Singh. The SDM has been asked to file a report at the earliest. He further said that orders were already issued on April 29 in the district for surrendering of oxygen cylinders lying in homes or other establishments. An appeal is again being issued to all residents of Moga to surrender the oxygen cylinders in personal possession to the nearest health centres, he added.
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