Maharashtra:Twenty-four COVID-19 patients died in Maharashtra’s Nashik today after an oxygen tanker leaked outside a hospital, disrupting supply to patients for around 30 minutes.
“As per current information, 22 people have died due to the interrupted supply of oxygen at the Zakir Hussain municipal hospital,” district collector Suraj Mandhare told media.
All the victims were on ventilators and in need of constant oxygen supply. The incident occurred at the city’s Zakir Hussain Hospital which is a Covid-dedicated facility. Around 150 patients were either oxygen-dependant or on ventilators.
“Nashik incident is shocking. No words to express my grief. Rs 5 lakh compensation announced for the families of the deceased. A high-level probe has been ordered,” said Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray.
Maharashtra Health Minister Rajesh Tope promised the government will look into the matter and conduct a thorough probe.
“As per the information available with us, patients who were on ventilators at the hospital in Nashik have died. The leakage was spotted at the oxygen tank which was supplying oxygen to these patients. The interrupted supply could be linked to the deaths of the patients in the hospital,” Mr Tope said.
“We will issue a statement later after the investigation is over,” he added.
Visuals from the hospital show rapidly leaking gas from the tanker and covering the surrounding areas in white fumes.
Panic struck the patients and their family members as the oxygen supply was stopped. Heartwrenching visuals show families trying to help the patients as they gasp for breath.
#WATCH | An Oxygen tanker leaked while tankers were being filled at Dr Zakir Hussain Hospital in Nashik, Maharashtra. Officials are present at the spot, operation to contain the leak is underway. Details awaited.
— ANI (@ANI) April 21, 2021
The gas had spread throughout the area causing widespread panic. Fire trucks were rushed to the spot to stop the leak. Videos show water being sprayed to control the leak; the firefighting team also wore protective gear to go in to stop the leak.
Around 31 patients out of 80 who need oxygen have been shifted to other hospitals.
PM Narendra Modi condoles loss of life in the Nashik oxygen tank leak incident
The tragedy at a hospital in Nashik because of oxygen tank leakage is heart-wrenching. Anguished by the loss of lives due to it. Condolences to the bereaved families in this sad hour.
— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) April 21, 2021
Defence Minister Rajnath Singh tweeted his condolences after the accident.
Devastating news from Nashik where precious lives have been lost due to leakage in Oxygen supply at a Hospital. I am deeply pained by the loss of lives due to this tragic incident. In this hour of grief, my thoughts are with the bereaved families.
— Rajnath Singh (@rajnathsingh) April 21, 2021
State Minister Aaditya Thackeray called the incident unfortunate and promised a probe in the matter.
“The accident at Zakir Hussain Hospital is extremely unfortunate. We all share in the grief of all these families. Guardian Minister Chhagan Bhujbal and all the officials are in touch with Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray. This unfortunate incident will be thoroughly investigated,” he tweeted in Marathi.
Union home minister Amit Shah condoles loss of life in the Nashik oxygen tank leak incident. “Distressed to hear the news of the accident. I express my deepest condolences to the families who have lost their loved ones in this incident,” he says.
नासिक के एक अस्पताल में ऑक्सिजन लीक होने से हुई दुर्घटना का समाचार सुन व्यथित हूँ। इस हादसे में जिन लोगों ने अपनों को खोया है उनकी इस अपूरणीय क्षति पर अपनी गहरी संवेदनाएं व्यक्त करता हूँ। बाकी सभी मरीजों की कुशलता के लिए ईश्वर से प्रार्थना करता हूँ।
— Amit Shah (@AmitShah) April 21, 2021
Shiv Sena leader Priyanka Chaturvedi also tweeted her condolences.
“This is such a terrible tragedy, my heartfelt condolences to the families of the deceased. I have no words to express my anguish, this is extremely disturbing to read,” her tweet.
Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) leader Majeed Memon tweeted that people responsible for the leak must be punished.
Leakage of Oxygen from tanker in Nasik has caused loss of several litres of oxygen and panic in the Hospital. Those responsible for negligence must be identified and punished,” Mr Memon tweeted.