MUMBAI: At least three of the ten infants died of burn injuries in the Bhandara district hospital fire in Maharashtra while seven others died of suffocation caused by smoke on Saturday, Health Minister Rajesh Tope said, adding that a probe is ordered and the guilty will not be spared.
He said Rs 5 lakh would be paid to family members of each of the deceased infant.
According to doctors, ten newborn babies, aged between a month and three months, died after fire broke out in the Special Newborn Care Unit of the hospital around 1.30 am.
Seven out of the 17 babies in the affected unit were rescued.
Maharashtra Health Minister Rajesh Tope says out of 10 infants, 7 are died due to suffocation while three were burnt to death. The postmortem of infant bodies will not be carried out & handed over to families. Ajit Pawar ordered fire audit of govt hospitals. @NewIndianXpress— Sudhir Suryawanshi (@ss_suryawanshi) January 9, 2021
"The preliminary information available indicated that three infants died from burn injuries in the Bhandara district civil hospital while suffocation caused by smoke is the cause of the death of seven other infants," Tope said in a video message.
He said the hospital staff saved seven other infants admitted in the affected Neonatal Intensive Care Unit.
"The medical staff on duty opened the windows and doors of the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit wards and shifted the infants to adjoining wards. However, they could not save the 10 infants," he said.
Tope said, "chief minister Uddhav Thackeray informed me of sanctioning Rs five lakh to each to the family members of the deceased infants".
He said the bodies have been sent to their respective homes for conducting the last rites.
"Persons responsible for this incident will not be spared. A detailed inquiry is ordered. We will try to avoid such incidents in future by learning from this tragedy," he added.
Tope said he was rushing to the Bhandara civil hospital.