It was said that fire broke out at the Special Newborn Care Unit of a hospital in Maharashtra in the early hours of Saturday and killed the infants in their ward.
The babies were between the ages of a month and three months. Three of them were said to have died from burn injuries while the other seven were suffocated.
Pramod Khandate, District civil surgeon, told Asian Age that fire broke out at the Bhandara district hospital at around 1.30 am on Saturday. He added that there were seventeen babies in the unit but seven of them were rescued.
He said: “one of the nurses on duty noticed the smoke that was coming out of the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit section of the hospital, and she raised alarm to alert other staff who got there after some minutes.
“Fire brigade personnel rescued seven babies from the ‘inbound ward’ of the unit but could not save the 10 other babies.
“The ward where newborn babies are kept requires a continuous supply of oxygen. “There were fire extinguishers and staff used them while trying to douse the fire. There was too much smoke“.
Pramod Khandate added that the cause of the fire in the four-storeyed building is yet to be ascertained but could be as a result of electrical spark.
Pramod Khandate also said that parents of the deceased children have been informed and the seven newborn babies rescued in the blaze have been moved to another ward.
He added that patients at the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) ward, dialysis wing and labour ward, have all been moved to other wards for safety.
Meanwhile, the Maharashtra Health Minister Rajesh Tope has been reported to have said that the postmortem of infant bodies will not be carried out as they will be handed over to their families.
Ajit Pawar, Deputy Chief Minister, Maharashtra, on his social medial handle, has ordered that the infant wards of other government hospitals in the State be audited for safety to avoid such accident.
In order to prevent such tragic accidents from recurring, immediate safety audit of infant wards in other hospitals of the State has been ordered.
— Ajit Pawar (@AjitPawarSpeaks) January 9, 2021