13 COVID-19 patients die in hospital fire in Maharashtra

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Over a dozen COVID-19 patients died in a fire at a private hospital’s intensive care unit in the Palghar district of Maharashtra on Friday, reported The Press Trust of India quoting police.

The fire started in the ICU on the second floor of the four-story Vijay Vallabh Hospital in Virar shortly after 3 am, an unnamed official told the agency. He added that the fire was put out at 5:20 am by firefighters. Thirteen patients died in the incident.

When the fire broke out in the ICU, Seventeen patients were present there, the official told PTI. Four patients were rescued and shifted to other hospitals in the area, he added.

The tragic incident happened two days after 22 COVID-19 patients suffocated to death when their oxygen supply stopped suddenly due to a malfunction in the main storage at a civic hospital in Nashik.

District Disaster Control Cell chief Vivekanand Kadam told PTI that the Virar hospital fire was preceded by an explosion in the AC unit of the ICU.

Soon after the incident, relatives of the victims reached the hospital and demanded that strict action be taken against those responsible for the tragedy.

On 9 January, ten infants died in a blaze that broke out at a special newborn care unit of the Bhandara district hospital in Maharashtra. Nine people died in a fire incident in Mumbai’s Dreams Mall, which housed a Covid-designated hospital on its third floor, on the intervening night of 25 and 26 March.

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