Thursday, 30 March, 2023

10 dead in India Covid hospital fire

10 dead in India Covid hospital fire

At least 10 people died in a deadly fire that swept through the intensive care unit of a hospital treating Covid patients in the western Indian state of Maharashtra on Saturday, officials said.

The blaze broke out at the Covid intensive care unit of the government-run Civil Hospital in the state's Ahmednagar district, some 250km from Maharashtra's capital Mumbai, this morning.

As many as eight fire tenders were pressed into service within minutes, but it took them a couple of hours to douse the flames, a senior district administration official told the local media.

"While the bodies of 10 people, mostly patients, were recovered by the firefighters, another person has sustained burn injuries. The remaining patients have been safely evacuated," the official added.

The deaths came on a day India reported 10,929 fresh coronavirus cases in 24 hours, 14% lower than Friday's figure of 12,729. The country also logged 392 new deaths during the period, the health ministry said.

Fire officials suspect an electrical short-circuit triggered the fire. "However, a probe will pinpoint the exact cause of death," a fire official said.

This is the third horrific Covid hospital fire tragedy in India in the past eight months.

In May, as many as 18 people died in a fire that broke out at a Covid hospital in the western Indian state of Gujarat. In March too, some 10 Covid patients were killed in a fire that broke out at a Mumbai hospital.