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Bhandara hospital fire: Probe panel says short-circuit cause of fire, blames officials

The committee however, did not recommend any action against the officials responsible for the mishap. “It is for the government to decide what action should be taken,” sources said.

Written by Vivek Deshpande | Nagpur |
Updated: January 20, 2021 8:24:14 am
Bhandara Hospital fire, maharashtra hospital fire, Mumbai news, Mumbai hospital fire, Bhandara Hospital fire probe, India news, indian expressThe SNCU unit in hospital. (Express Photo)

THE panel probing the Bhandara fire incident, in which 10 newborns died at the district hospital on January 9, submitted its report to the state government on Tuesday, fixing responsibility for the accident on some senior officials and giving certain recommendations to the government to prevent the recurrence of such incidents in future.

Citing a short-circuit as the cause of the fire, the report by the committee, led by Nagpur Divisional Commissioner Sanjeev Kumar, has stated that the short-circuit led to a baby warmer catching fire, and the blaze later spread to the whole Outborn section of the Sick Newborn Care Unit of the District Hospital at Bhandara, sources told The Indian Express.

“The report has blamed certain officials, including District Civil Surgeon Pramod Khandate, for not doing certain things in time that could have prevented the mishap,” said sources. They, however, refused to give details of what exactly had to be done but wasn’t done in time.

The committee however, did not recommend any action against the officials responsible for the mishap. “It is for the government to decide what action should be taken,” sources said.

Among the recommendations by the committee are a separate cadre for posts like Civil Surgeon, District Health Officer and Tahsil Health Officer, instead of them being appointed to the post as per seniority from among doctors in the general cadre. “They must, however, be chosen from among doctors only,” the committee has said. This cadre should be given special training for dealing with such exigencies, the panel has recommended.

The other major recommendation was to have a system of CCTV cameras pulled in on one platform to facilitate its monitoring at different levels, from local right up to the state level.

However, Maharashtra Health Secretary Dr Pradeep Vyas said he was yet to receive the report. P Rahangdale, director of Maharashtra Fire Services, said he has submitted an inquiry report to detail how the fire started, but refused to comment further.

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