Bhandara, January 9
Ten newborn babies died after a fire broke out at a neonatal care ward of a state-run hospital at Bhandara in eastern Maharashtra in the early hours of Saturday morning. The staff rescued seven of the 17 babies in the ward.
The cause of the fire is suspected to be a short-circuit or a malfunctioning air-conditioning unit. The state government has ordered a probe by fire experts. A BJP leader alleged that there were complaints about power fluctuations in the ward, but no action was taken. The deceased, eight girls and two boys, were aged between one and three months, a doctor at the hospital said.
State Health Minister Rajesh Tope said three infants died of burn injuries and seven of suffocation caused by smoke. Those responsible shall not be spared, said Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray. A fire audit of all hospitals in the state has been ordered.
The CM announced Rs 5 lakh for family members of the deceased infants. — PTI