The Gorakhpur hospital tragedy, which has claimed the lives of 60 children in the last six days, has emerged as one of the worst in the recent times for Uttar Pradesh and the country. Over the years, there have been a number of other such gut-wrenching tragedies resulting in high death tolls.
Here’s a list of such tragedies in India in the last few years:
Gorakhpur Hospital Tragedy
At least 60 children have died at the state-run Baba Raghav Das Medical College hospital in Gorakhpur district of Uttar Pradesh due to infections and an alleged disruption in the supply of oxygen in the pediatrics ward. The 60 deaths have taken place over a course of six days, which has severely dented the image of the Yogi Adityanath-led UP government. More so, as Gorakhpur is the Lok Sabha constituency of the chief minister.
Chhattisgarh Sterilisation campaign
11 women died and more than 20 were admitted in the hospital when a government-run mass sterilisation campaign went horribly wrong in Chhattisgarh in November 2014. Of the 80 women who underwent surgery for laparoscopic tubectomies in the camp, 60 fell ill shortly after the completion of the procedures. Officials later said the deaths took place due to blood poisoning which developed into hemorrhagic shock. The incident took place in a government-run hospital called Nemi Chand in the Pendari area of Bilaspur, which was highly underprepared to deal with such mass casualties.
Bhubaneshwar Hospital Fire
22 people died and 120 people were injured in SUM Hospital of Bhubneshwar in Odisha on October 18, 2011. The deaths occurred due to suffocation as fire and smoke engulfed most wards in the hospital, as over 100 patients were being treated at the Intensive Care Unit. Patients and relatives of the victims blamed the hospital staff and management for delaying the process of evacuation.
Kolkata Hospital Tragedy
89 people and four staffers of the AMRI hospital died when fire broke out in the hospital. The hospital was housing 160 people when fire erupted in the basement of the hospital at about 3 am on December 9, 2011. An investigation carried by the a 15-member Special Investigation Team (SIT) later revealed negligence on part of the hospital authorities for ignoring basic safety norms. Police also said the building’s smoke detectors and fire alarms were not working, and that hospital authorities were unable to tell firemen the locations of emergency exits and staircases, which worsened the situation and delayed rescue work.
Erwadi mental asylum tragedy
Sixteen years ago on August 6, 2001, the Moideen Badusha Mental Home in Erwadi witnessed one of the worst hospital tragedies, where 28 patients in the mental asylum died in an inferno when they failed to escape the wards. The massive death toll was the result of the draconian rule, which commanded the patients of mental asylum to be chained with iron shackles at all times. Following the incident, the mental homes in the vicinity of Erwadi were shut down and over 500 inmates were sent under governmental care.