Five coronavirus patients were killed after a fire broke out in the ICU of a designated COVID-19 hospital in Gujarat’s Rajkot in the early hours of Friday, state Deputy Chief Minister Nitin Patel said. Twenty-six other patients undergoing treatment at the hospital were rescued and shifted to other facilities, he told reporters here.
The fire broke out around 12.30 am in the ICU ward located on the first floor of the four-storey Uday Shivanand Hospital in Anand Bungalow Chowk area, where around 31 patients were admitted, Patel added. Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani expressed grief over the incident and ordered a probe into it. He also announced a compensation of Rs 4 lakh to the kin of each deceased.
Rajkot Police Commissioner Manoj Agarwal said, “Out of the 11 coronavirus patients admitted to the ICU ward, five lost their lives in the fire, which was quickly brought under control before it could spread to other floors.”
The deputy CM said, “The blaze broke out around 12.30 am in the ICU ward and it was brought under control within half an hour by the fire brigade. While three coronavirus patients died on the spot, two others succumbed to the injuries while they were being shifted to another hospital.” “Nobody else was injured in the incident. Twenty-six other patients, including those who were undergoing treatment on the upper floors, were shifted to other hospitals,” Patel added.
Preliminary probe revealed that the fire was a result of short circuit in a ventilator, he said, adding that the private hospital had fire NOC and all the firefighting equipment was installed there. The Chief Minister’s Office (CMO) said in a statement that senior IAS officer AK Rakesh would carry out the probe into the incident.
The victims were identified as Ram Singh, Nitin Badani, Rasik Agravat, Sanjay Rathod and Keshu Akbari, officials said.
In August, eight COVID-19 patients were killed after a fire broke out on the top floor of a four-storey private hospital in Ahmedabad.