In a gut-wrenching incident that transpired at 2 AM on the 9th of January, 10 newborn babies died in a fire that broke out at Sick Newborn Care Unit (SNCU) at Bhandara District General Hospital. There were a total of seventeen babies kept in the Unit. Civil Surgeon, Dr Parmod Khandate said that seven children were safely rescued by the fire brigade personnel but the other ten babies could not be saved. The deceased infants aged between one month to two months.
Ten children died in a fire that broke out at Sick Newborn Care Unit (SNCU) of Bhandara District General Hospital at 2 am today. Seven children were rescued from the unit: Pramod Khandate, Civil Surgeon, Bhandara, Maharashtra pic.twitter.com/bTokrNQ28t— ANI (@ANI) January 9, 2021
According to reports, a nurse who saw smoke coming out from the neonatal section of the hospital informed the doctors and the other staff. Dr Khandate said that the newborn babies’ ward required a continuous supply of oxygen. He said that the staff used the fire extinguishers to douse the fire but there was too much smoke.
“Most newborns die due to suffocation. One baby had fatal injures, and two others had minor burn injuries. The rest inhaled a lot of smoke”, said Dr. Khandate. The outborn section where the fire broke out is for children born at other places but referred to the hospital for some kind of special treatment.
The parents of the babies have reportedly been informed about the incident and the rescued babies have been shifted to another ward. Patients from the ICU ward, dialysis wing and labour ward were also shifted to other wards. The cause of fire has not yet been ascertained.
PM Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah expressed grief over the tragedy
Prime Minister Narendra Modi expressed grief over the unfortunate incident and extended condolences. He tweeted, “Heart-wrenching tragedy in Bhandara, Maharashtra, where we have lost precious young lives. My thoughts are with all the bereaved families. I hope the injured recover as early as possible”.
Heart-wrenching tragedy in Bhandara, Maharashtra, where we have lost precious young lives. My thoughts are with all the bereaved families. I hope the injured recover as early as possible.— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) January 9, 2021
Terming the incident as “unfortunate” Home Minister Amit Shah expressed condolences over the death of the new-born babies.
The fire accident in Bhandara district hospital, Maharashtra is very unfortunate. I am pained beyond words. My thoughts and condolences are with bereaved families. May God give them the strength to bear this irreparable loss.— Amit Shah (@AmitShah) January 9, 2021
Maharashtra CM orders probe
Following the tragic incident, Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray spoke to the state Health Minister Rajesh Tope and the District Collector and the Superintendent of Police, Bhandara district and ordered an investigation into the matter. The state government has announced a compensation of Rs 5 lakh for the families of the deceased babies.