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Maha’s Virar hospital fire; PM Modi announces Ex-gratia, CM announces probe

By Priyanka Verma 
Updated Date

MUMBAI: Thirteen Covid-19 patients on early Friday morning died in a fire that broke out at a hospital in Vasai-Virar, Palghar district of Maharashtra. The fire broke out at an ICU ward in the hospital around 3 am, as per sources.

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There were 90 patients in the hospital, 18 of them in the ICU when the fire broke out after a blast in the AC unit, an official said. The dead include five women and eight men.

The fire broke out in the ICU on the second floor of the four-storeyed Vijay Vallabh Hospital at Virar shortly after 3 am, an official said. Firefighters extinguished the blaze at 5.20 am, he added.

There were 18 patients in the ICU when the fire broke out, the official said. Five patients were rescued and shifted to other hospitals in the area, he added.

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The other patients in the hospital were not affected as the damage was confined to the ICU, he added.

District disaster control cell chief Vivekanand Kadam said that the Vihar hospital fire was preceded by an explosion in the AC unit of the intensive care unit.

Relatives of the deceased reached the hospital soon after hearing of the incident and demanded that stringent action be taken against those responsible for the tragedy.

Firefighters from the Vasai-Virar municipal corporation put out the fire within an hour, Kadam said.

PMO announces Rs 2 lakh compensation

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Condoling the deaths, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said that the fire at Virar hospital is tragic and prayed for the recovery of the injured.

Prime Minister Officer (PMO) has approved an ex-gratia of Rs 2 lakh each from PMNRF for the next of kin of those who have lost their lives due to the hospital fire in Virar and Rs 50,000 to the seriously injured.

Chief minister Uddhav Thackeray ordered probe; Rs 5 lakh compensation

Chief minister Uddhav Thackeray has ordered an inquiry into the fire incident at Vijay Vallabh Covid care hospital in Vasai-Virar.

Former BJP MP Kirit Somaiya said authorities should check if there was a fire safety audit of the hospital, which is over 50 km from Mumbai.

“This is a big accident. Those found responsible won’t be spared. The government will provide financial assistance of Rs 5 lakhs each to the families of those who lost their lives,” said state minister Eknath Shinde.

Union Defence Minister Rajnath Singh tweeted, “Saddened by the loss of lives due to tragic fire at a Hospital in Palghar, Maharashtra. My condolences to the bereaved families. Praying for the speedy recovery of the injured.”

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State Health Minister Rajesh Tope said in a tweet, “The fire incident at Virar based Vijay Vallabh Hospital’s ICU section has claimed 13 lives. It is a very unfortunate and painful incident. CM Thackeray has ordered in-depth inquiry into this accident.

Several similar incidents reported in Maharashtra

The incident comes a day after 22 people lost their lives due to low oxygen supply after an oxygen tanker leaked outside Dr Zakir Hussain Hospital in Nashik, Maharashtra.

Bombay high court on Thursday took suo moto cognisance of the oxygen leak incident and has sought a report from the Maharashtra government by May 4, explaining how the incident had occurred.

Ten infants were killed in a fire that broke out at a special newborn care unit of the Bhandara district hospital in Maharashtra on January 9. Seventeen infants, aged one to three months, were admitted to the ward at the time of the tragedy.

A fire broke out in Mumbai’s Dreams Mall, which housed a Covid-designated hospital on its third floor, in the intervening night of March 25-26. The fire, which raged for over 40 hours, claimed nine lives, including those of patients on ventilator support.

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