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Monday, November 29, 2021

Pune News highlights: Pune records 135 new Covid cases, 3 deaths; 11 Covid-19 patients dead in Ahmednagar hospital fire

Following a fire at Ahmednagar district hospital which claimed 11 lives, Maharashtra CM Uddhav Thackeray said stern action will be taken against those found guilty of negligence.

By: Express News Service | Pune |
Updated: November 8, 2021 10:50:28 am
Pune fireThe ward of Ahmednagar District Hospital where the fire broke out on Saturday. (Express photo by Anil Shah)

Pune recorded 135 new coronavirus cases and three deaths on Saturday. With this, the total number of coronavirus cases rose to 11,52,412, while the death toll is now 19,111.

As many as 11 patients being treated for Covid-19 at a hospital in Ahmednagar died on Saturday after a fire broke out in the Intensive Care Unit. District Collector Rajendra Bhosale said the fire may have been caused by a short circuit. Confirming the incident, District Collector Rajendra Bhosale said the fire has now been brought under control and a probe has been ordered into the incident.

Maharashtra CM Uddhav Thackeray said stern action will be taken against those found guilty of negligence. He also asked the district collector to carry out a thorough probe and submit a report. An inquiry committee has been constituted to find out the cause of the fire.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi said he was anguished by the deaths. Modi tweeted, “Anguished by the loss of lives due to a fire in a hospital in Ahmednagar, Maharashtra. Condolences to the bereaved families. May the injured recover at the earliest.” Congress leader Rahul Gandhi wrote on Facebook, “The news of fire in Ahmednagar hospital is painful. My condolences to the families of those who lost their lives. I appeal to Congress workers to help in the relief work.”

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Pune records 135 new Covid cases, 3 deaths; 11 dead in Ahmednagar hospital fire, CM orders probe; number of active Covid cases in Maharashtra drops by 55.6% in one month

18:21 (IST)07 Nov 2021
Pune couple found dead, home had canisters of unidentified liquids: Cops

A married couple was found dead at their residence in Keshavnagar area of Mundhwa on Sunday. The deceased have been identified as Sharad Bhujbal (47) and his wife Hema (43).

“We found five canisters of 20 litres each at the house. Three have a watery liquid, another has a pink liquid and a fifth one is filled with a red solution. We have sent samples of all three chemicals to the laboratory examination,” said Bramhanand Naikwadi, Senior Police Inspector, Mundhwa Police Station.

After preliminary examination of the bodies, police ruled out the murder angle as no marks of a physical struggle were present. The probe currently focuses on identifying the liquids in the canisters and whether the duo had consumed them. Read more

17:57 (IST)07 Nov 2021
Maharashtra's fisherman killed in firing by Pakistan maritime security personnel off Gujarat coast: Police

A fisherman from Maharashtra was killed and a crew member of his boat was injured in firing by the Pakistan Maritime Security Agency (PMSA) personnel near international maritime boundary line in the Arabian sea off Gujarat coast, a police official said on Sunday.

The incident occurred around 4 pm on Saturday, he said. “A fisherman from Thane in Maharashtra, who was on a fishing boat ‘Jalpari,’ was killed after the PMSA personnel opened fire on him and other crew members on Saturday evening,” Devbhumi Dwarka Superintendent of Police Sunil Joshi said.

The body of the deceased fisherman, Sridhar Ramesh Chamre (32), was brought to Okha port on Sunday and an FIR was being registered by the Porbandar Navi Bandar police, which has jurisdiction across Gujarat over any incident that occurs beyond 12 nautical miles in the Arabian sea, he added. Read more

16:23 (IST)07 Nov 2021
Vice Admiral Krishna Swaminathan assumes charge as Chief of Staff, Western Naval Command

Vice Admiral Krishna Swaminathan assumed charge as Chief of Staff of the Western Naval Command on Thursday. Commissioned into the Indian Navy on July 1, 1987, Admiral Swaminathan specialises in communication and electronic warfare.

A recipient of the Ati Vishisht Seva Medal and Vishisht Seva Medal, he has held several key operational, staff and training appointments in his naval career, including the command of missile vessels INS Vidyut and Vinash, missile corvette INS Kulish, guided missile destroyer INS Mysore and aircraft carrier INS Vikramaditya. Read more

15:53 (IST)07 Nov 2021
Sameer Wankhede’s father files Rs 1.25 crore defamation suit against Nawab Malik

Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) zonal director Sameer Wankhede’s father Dhyandev Kachruji Wankhede has moved Bombay High Court with a defamation suit against Maharashtra cabinet minister Nawab Malik seeking Rs 1.25 crore damages. The high court is likely to hear the plea for interim relief, including deletion of articles, tweets, interviews, including in electronic and social media, and a temporary injunction restraining respondents from publishing, writing and speaking in any media, on Monday.

The plea was mentioned for urgent hearing on Friday by advocates Arshad Shaikh, Ranjit Agashe, Krishnan Iyer, Vinsha Acharya, Divakar Rai and Saurabh Tamhankar before a vacation bench of Justice S J Kathawalla, who kept the matter for hearing on prayers for interim relief on Monday. Read more

15:23 (IST)07 Nov 2021
5 booked for electricity theft of Rs 4.93 crore

ive people were booked for allegedly stealing electricity worth Rs 4.93 crore in Vasai in Palghar district, an MSEDCL official said on Sunday.

Maharashtra State Electricity Distribution Company Limited PRO Vijay Dudbhate said a case was registered with Virar police station on Saturday against four directors of an ice factory and one man who had helped set up the power stealing mechanism. (PTI)

13:36 (IST)07 Nov 2021
Ahmednagar hospital fire: Kin of deceased in shock as hope of recovery from Covid-19 turns into permanent loss

Family members of the 11 Covid-19 patients, who died after a fire broke out at a hospital in Ahmednagar, are in a state of shock and yet to come to terms with the reality that their loved ones, whom they had admitted to the medical facility with the hope of recovery, will now never come back home.

The family members bid farewell to their dead relatives with a heavy heart after the bodies were handed over to them by the hospital administration late Saturday evening.

Adinath Wagh, who lost his uncle Ramkishan Harpude (70) in the hospital blaze, performed his cremation at their native place in Nevasa on Saturday night. "It was only two days back that he was admitted and we were expecting a speedy recovery. But he died in the fire tragedy," he told PTI. Bhagwan Pawar, who lost his father Bhivaji Pawar (80) in the hospital blaze, said they had to perform his last rites in Ahmednagar instead of their native village in Parner tehsil. The other relatives could not attend the funeral, he rued. (PTI)

12:51 (IST)07 Nov 2021
Bombay HC sets aside PMLA court order, sends Anil Deshmukh in ED custody till Nov 12

The Bombay High Court vacation bench on Sunday set aside the special Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) Court order refusing Enforcement Directorate (ED) custody and granting 14-day judicial custody to former Maharashtra Home Minister Anil Deshmukh in a money laundering case.

The HC remanded Deshmukh to ED custody till November 12. The ED had moved a precipice in HC on Saturday night challenging special court order, which was heard by a single-judge vacation bench of Justice Madhav J Jamdar on Sunday.

12:12 (IST)07 Nov 2021
No smoke alarm, sprinklers: despite audit, Ahmednagar hospital didn’t have firefighting system

An audit by the Ahmednagar civic fire brigade just some months ago had suggested setting up of a firefighting system in the district hospital in which 11 Covid-19 patients died after fire swept through its Intensive Care Unit.

Putting the blame squarely on the district hospital administration, Shankar Misal, chief of the Ahmednagar civic fire brigade, said fire audits of the hospital had suggested setting up a firefighting system. “The first fire audit was conducted in 2015. And the last one a few months back. During both the audits, we had suggested setting up a firefighting system,” he said.

“Today, we found that other than fire extinguishers, there was nothing in the name of a firefighting system,” said Misal, whose team is learnt to have rushed to the spot within 20 minutes of the fire. “Fire sprinklers, hydrants were missing… the staff had apparently not been trained to handle the fire,” he said. Read more

09:30 (IST)07 Nov 2021
Ahmednagar hospital fire: Health minister announces Rs 5 lakh for kin of victims

State health minister Rajesh Tope said the fire incident at Ahmednagar district general hospital where 11 Covid patients died and six others were injured was unfortunate. “We have declared a financial assistance of Rs 5 lakh for each family,” Tope told The Indian Express.

“Initial reports indicate that the fire was caused due to a short circuit at the intensive care unit. The unit was set up a year ago and an inquiry will be conducted by a team led by the Divisional Commissioner. The team will include fire safety experts and others from the electrical division,” Tope said.

Tope added he will visit Ahmednagar soon while Guardian Minister Hasan Mushrif and Dr Bharati Pawar, Union Minister of State for Health and Family Welfare (who hails from Nashik), are also expected to reach Ahmednagar. Read the full report here. 

21:26 (IST)06 Nov 2021
Number of active Covid cases in Maharashtra drops by 55.6% in one month

In the last one month, the number of Covid-19 patients who are currently on treatment has dropped by 55.6%. Though Maharashtra has not witnessed any sudden surge in cases lately despite the progressive relaxations on restrictions, state health minister Rajesh Tope on Saturday said there can be no room for complacency.

On October 6, the state had 33,181 active Covid-19 patients, which dropped to 14,714 on November 6. The state’s peak active caseload – 698,354 – was recorded on April 25 this year.

As on November 6, six districts in Maharashtra — Mumbai (3,819), Pune (3,163), Raigad (693), Ahmednagar (2,079), Nashik (643) and Thane (1,632) — account for 82% of the state’s active Covid-19 caseload. Read more

21:11 (IST)06 Nov 2021
Inquiry committee formed to ascertain cause of Ahmednagar hospital ICU fire: Union minister

An inquiry committee has been constituted to find out the cause of the fire that killed 11 COVID-19 patients in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) of the Ahmednagar district civil hospital in Maharashtra, Union minister Bharati Pawar said on Saturday.

After visiting the hospital in the afternoon, the Minister of State for Health and Family Welfare said a total of 17 patients were admitted to the ICU for COVID-19 treatment.

"After the fire broke out, these patients were shifted. However, 11 patients lost their lives. I condole these deaths. I have met six patients who are undergoing treatment and their relatives. An inquiry committee has been appointed. Once the committee files a report, the picture will become clear," she told reporters.

Responding to a query, Pawar said the Central government sends instructions regarding the fire safety audit (to hospitals) regularly. (PTI)

20:23 (IST)06 Nov 2021
Ahmednagar hospital fire: Diwali turns dark for relatives of victims

The doctors had told Vivek Khatik (31) that his parents, admitted to the ICU of the Ahmednagar civil hospital for treatment of coronavirus infection, were recovering. Little did he know that a fire was going to claim his father's life on a Diwali day. The only solace for him is that he could save his mother, admitted in the same ward.

Khatik's father Kadu Bal Gangadhar Khatik (65) was among the eleven COVID-19 patients who died when a fire broke out in the ICU of the district hospital around 11 on Saturday morning.

"My parents were admitted in the ICU ward for the last few days. They were recovering. Today in the morning the hospital staff asked us to go out as the ward was to be cleaned," he told PTI, tears rolling down his eyes.

Bhagwan Pawar's father Bhivaji Pawar (80) too was on the path of recovery. "We had talked about discharge last night and he was very happy. But fate had something else in store," he said.

He too had stepped out from the hospital as cleaning was going on, he said. "While we were outside, fire broke out and black smoke started billowing from the ICU. We broke the window panes in order to rescue the patients," Pawar said. Had they not been asked to leave the ward, he could have saved his father, he said. (PTI)

20:20 (IST)06 Nov 2021
Maharashtra reports 551 new Covid cases; 165 cases in Pune division

Maharashtra on Saturday reported 661 fresh coronavirus positive cases and ten fatalities, taking the tally of infections to 66,16,762 and the toll to 1,40,372, the state health department said. With 896 patients being discharged during the day, the number of recoveries in Maharashtra rose to 64,58,045, leaving the state with 14,714 active cases.

Pune division added 165 cases, the Kolhapur division 26, the Aurangabad division 12, the Latur division 11, the Akola division 5, and the Nagpur division 6 cases, as per the department. (PTI)

19:05 (IST)06 Nov 2021
News of loss of lives in fire at Ahmednagar hospital is painful: Rahul Gandhi

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Saturday said it was painful to see the loss of lives following a fire at a hospital in Ahmednagar in Maharashtra and urged party workers to help in relief work. He also sent his condolences to the families of those killed in the fire.

"The news of fire in Ahmednagar hospital is painful. My condolences to the families of those who lost their lives. I appeal to Congress workers to help in the relief work," the former Congress president said in a post on Facebook. (PTI)

19:05 (IST)06 Nov 2021
Ahmednagar hospital fire: Energy minister orders probe, warns of strict action against guilty

Maharashtra Energy Minister Nitin Raut on Saturday ordered a detailed inquiry into the Ahmednagar civil hospital fire, in which at least 11 coronavirus patients were killed, and warned of strict action against those found guilty.

He said the electricity department's inspection team has reached the hospital and it will start its probe after the police panchnam Taking to Twitter, Raut said the Ahmednagar civil hospital fire incident was "very unfortunate".

"I have ordered a detailed inquiry into this incident. Meanwhile, electricity inspection department has reached the incident spot. The inspection team will start its inquiry after the police panchnama is completed," he said. (PTI)

19:03 (IST)06 Nov 2021
Ahmednagar hospital fire: Most patients in Covid ward were senior citizens

Fire brigade personnel had a hard time dousing the fire at the ICU of the Ahmednagar civil hospital in Maharashtra on Saturday morning as they could not enter through the main entrance due to smoke, and the windows had grills over them.

A fire audit had been carried out at the hospital, but all necessary systems were not in place for want of funds, an official claimed.

The blaze claimed 11 lives. Most of the patients were senior citizens, and many of them were on ventilator or oxygen, which made the rescue operation more tricky.

Amid panic, cries and chaotic scenes, fire brigade personnel broke the window panes and began dousing the flames using water cannons, said a civic fire official whose team was the first to reach the spot after the blaze started around 11 am. (PTI)

17:43 (IST)06 Nov 2021
Ahmednagar hospital fire: CM asks district collector to carry out probe and submit report

Maharashtra CM Uddhav Thackeray says stern action will be taken against those found guilty of negligence. He also asked the district collector to carry out a thorough probe and submit a report.

Earlier, the CM had asked Guardian Minister Hasan Mushrif and Chief Secretary Sitaram Kunte to closely monitor the situation. He told them that all possible help should be extended to those who were injured in the fire and are undergoing treatment now.

17:12 (IST)06 Nov 2021
Car used in Pune bank robbery seized from MP's Sagar district

The Madhya Pradesh police have recovered a car used in the Rs 2-crore bank robbery in Maharashtra's Pune last month, from Sagar district, an official said on Saturday.

The car was recovered from Sadar Bazar area in Sagar when its colour was being changed, an official said. The vehicle has been handed over to the Pune police, who had earlier said that the robbers had procured a pistol for the heist from Madhya Pradesh, he said.

The Pune police had passed on the information about the car to their counterparts in Sagar, following which it was recovered, Superintendent of Police Atul Singh said. (PTI)

16:15 (IST)06 Nov 2021
Anguished by deaths in Ahmednagar hospital fire: PM Modi

Prime Minister Narendra Modi says he was anguished by the deaths. Modi tweeted, “Anguished by the loss of lives due to a fire in a hospital in Ahmednagar, Maharashtra. Condolences to the bereaved families. May the injured recover at the earliest.”

15:42 (IST)06 Nov 2021
Maharashtra health minister announces Rs 5 lakh for kin of Covid patients who died in Ahmednagar hospital fire

State health minister Rajesh Tope said the fire incident at Ahmednagar district general hospital where 11 Covid patients died and six others were injured was unfortunate. “We have declared a financial assistance of Rs 5 lakh for each family,” Tope told The Indian Express. Read more

Pune Today Live Update, News Pune Live Firecrackers seen in the sky on Diwali in Pune. (Express Photo: Ashish Kale)

Pune Today Live News

Know Your City: Sindhi refugees who turned Pimpri into their home and then a trading hub

Any train journey between Pune and Mumbai is incomplete without hawkers selling peanuts or chikkis in their loud raucous voices. What many might not know is that the practice was started by migrant Sindhis trying to eke out a living after the Partition in 1947. Pimpri, the present-day chaotic and bustling marketplace, was one of the areas where the nascent government chose to settle the refugees, many of whom were forced to migrate with just a pair of clothes. What they did have, though, was their sense of entrepreneurship and the sheer will to survive in conditions which, at best, could be termed hostile.

Pimpri: From cattle shed to refugee colony

The Partition of India saw the sub-continent being divided into two new nations. Punjab and the undivided Bengal saw an exodus of refugees with Hindu Sindhis and Bengalis coming from the other side of the border, while Muslim Indians crossed over from here.

Husband, with help from 2 others, murdered man for having affair with wife: Cops

The inquiry into the disappearance of a 27-year-old man from Bavdhan has revealed that he was allegedly murdered by the husband of the woman he was having an affair with and his body was later burnt to ashes on a furnace at a hooch den.

The Pimpri Chinchwad Police have arrested the husband of the woman and his aide from Madhya Pradesh and another accomplice from Pune.

Cane growers in a fix over I-T dept’s action on Jarandeshwar mill

THE INCOME Tax (I-T) Department’s decision to attach the Jarandeshwar Sugar Mill in Koregaon taluka of Satara district, has put a question mark over the fate of more than 50,000 sugarcane growers in the area. There is uncertainty about whether the mill will commence crushing even as the full implication of the action by the I-T department is yet to be understood.

Quadruple amputee from Pune undergoes bilateral hand transplant

Two years ago, Prakash, an accountant with a private construction firm, had suffered severe electrical burns while preparing to celebrate Diwali with his family. Doctors had to amputate his upper and lower limbs.

Recently, at Mumbai’s Global Hospital, the 32-year-old underwent a bilateral hand transplant procedure and is now in a stable condition.

“We were waiting for this procedure for almost a year,” his wife Madhuri Shelar said while waiting outside the intensive care unit. “I got a call from my husband and exchanged Diwali greetings.”

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