Delhi fire tragedy: Hospital had no emergency exits, working fire extinguishers, finds NCPCR

On Sunday, six newborn died after a massive fire broke out at a private children's hospital in east Delhi's Vivek Vihar.
 Forensic Science Laboratory team investigates at the site of the fire at the Baby Care Hospital, at Vivek Vihar, in East Delhi, Monday.
Forensic Science Laboratory team investigates at the site of the fire at the Baby Care Hospital, at Vivek Vihar, in East Delhi, Monday.PTI

New Delhi, May 27 (PTI) Absence of emergency exits, non-functional fire extinguishers, and lack of operational fire alarms and water sprinkler systems were the finding of the NCPCR team which visited the Vivek Vihar hospital where six babies died in a fire on Sunday.

The commission noted that the lapses constituted a grave contravention of the National Building Code of India, 2016, and guidelines from the National Disaster Management Authority.

On Sunday, six newborn died after a massive fire broke out at a private children's hospital in east Delhi's Vivek Vihar.

The fire broke in the Baby Care New Born Hospital at around 11.30 pm on Saturday and soon spread to two other adjacent buildings.

The NCPCR team, led by member Preeti Bharadwaj Dalal, visited the site on Sunday to assess the situation.

The team met with various officials, including Dr Vandana Bagga from the Director General of Health Services, Chief District Medical Officer (CDMO) of Shahdara, Dr Ramji Bharadwaj from East Delhi Advance NICU, and a six-member forensic team from GTB Hospital, led by Dr Mahesh Chand Meena.

Initial reports indicated that 13 newborns were rescued from the fire and transferred to East Delhi Advance NICU for treatment.

Six of these infants were declared brought dead, and another, who was placed on a ventilator, did not survive.

The bodies have since been moved to GTB Hospital for post mortem.

The commission's findings, which were shared with the Delhi LG and Police Commissioner, highlighted a troubling lack of preparedness and safety compliance at the nursing home.

It was locals, not hospital staff, who reported the fire, indicating a severe lack of emergency training among the nursing home staff, according to the report by the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights.

Prima facie, the incident appears to have been caused by negligence on the part of the nursing home authorities.

The NCPCR has demanded from the hospital the No Objection Certificate (NOC) from the Fire department, its operating licence, its the registration certificate, a list of all staff with their qualifications, the sanctioned capacity of NICU beds/incubators, a copy of the First Information Report (FIR) related to the incident, the post mortem reports, and the licence for refilling the oxygen unit.

The NCPCR team also met with the families of the victims and surviving infants.

It observed that some families faced difficulties in identifying and claiming the surviving infants.

In 2021, the NCPCR had requested district-wise data on NICU/PICU and SNCU facilities across all states and Union Territories to ensure adequate healthcare provisions for children.

However, details, particularly from Shahdara district, were incomplete, raising questions about whether the New Born Baby Care Hospital was included in the previous audits.

Related Stories

No stories found.

X
The New Indian Express
www.newindianexpress.com