Ahmedabad: 8 COVID patients died after fire breaks out at hospital

Ahmedabad: A blaze in the wee hours at a private hospital here has left eight COVID-19 patients dead, a fire brigade official said on Thursday.

Five men, three women

The victims include five men and three women, who were being treated at the ICU ward of the COVID-19 designated Shrey Hospital in Navrangpura area of Ahmedabad, the official said.

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Fire broke out around 3.30 am on the fourth floor of the four-storey hospital, he said.

Around 40 other COVID-19 patients at the facility were rescued and shifted to a civic hospital in the city, he said.

“Eight coronavirus patients admitted in the ICU ward of Shrey Hospital have died due to the fire, which has been doused,” said an official of the Ahmedabad Fire Department.

Primary investigations

Primary investigations revealed that the fire was caused by an electrical short circuit, police said.

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“Forensic experts have arrived at the site for a detailed investigation,” said Assistant Commissioner of Police L B Zala.

Shrey Hospital is among the around 60 private hospitals designated as COVID-19 hospitals by the Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation.

Municipal Commissioner Mukesh Kumar, who reached the spot soon after the fire broke out, said an electric short circuit led to the blaze, which spread in the ICU ward within minutes.

Principal Health Secretary Jayanti Ravi also reached the spot and assured a thorough probe into the incident.

Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani has ordered an inquiry into the incident.

CMO statement

In a statement, the CMO said the probe will be conducted by two IAS officers, Additional Chief Secretary in Home Department Sangeeta Singh and ACS in Urban Development Department Mukesh Puri.

They have been asked to submit a report in three days, the statement said.

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With 1,073 new coronavirus positive cases, Gujarat’s COVID-19 tally reached 66,777 on Wednesday. The number of deceased has gone up to 2,557, an official said.

PMO announces ex-gratia

An ex-gratia of Rs 2 lakh from the Prime Minister’s National Relief Fund (PMNRF) has been announced to the kin of those who died in the fire accident.

The PMO added that Rs 50,000 each would be given to those injured in the incident.

“Ex-gratia of Rs 2 lakh each from PMNRF would be given to the next of kin of those who have lost their lives due to the hospital fire in Ahmedabad. Rs 50,000 each would be given to those injured due to the hospital fire,” the PMO tweeted.

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