BHARUCH: Eighteen people died after a fire broke out at Bharuch Welfare Hospital on Bharuch-Jambusar road on Friday midnight.
The fire broke out in the trust-run hospital at 1 am due to a short-circuit in the Covid ward which soon spread to the ICU. Officials said that 14 people died and the death toll is likely to increase.
Sources said that there were many Covid patients in the hospital of whom 20 critical patients were in the ICU. As the fire broke out, confusion prevailed but many patients were later moved to Bharuch Civil Hospital, Sevashram Hospital, Gujarat Hospital and Al-Mahmood General Hospital.
At least 12 vehicles of the fire brigade were deployed to douse the flames and 40 ambulances were also pressed into action to shift the patients to other hospitals.
As the news of the fire spread, hundreds of citizens, many of whom were relatives of the patients, had rushed to the hospital. The kins of patients were seen wailing and struggling to get information.
“Total 50 persons were in the hospital of whom 32 were rescued while 18 died. The deceased include 16 patients and two nurses,” said R V Chudasma, SP, Bharuch.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi also expressed grief at the incident. “Pained by the loss of lives due to a fire at a hospital in Bharuch. Condolences to the bereaved families,” he tweeted.
Gujarat chief minister Vijay Rupani announced Rs 4 lakh ex-gratia from CM relief fund to each kin of the deceased. Two senior IAS officers Vipul Mittra and Raj Kumar Beniwal have been asked to probe the incident.
In the last year, this is the 5th incident of fire at Covid designated hospital. In the past, fire had broken out at hospitals in Ahmedabad, Vadodara, Rajkot and Jamnagar.