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Another fatal inferno in Gujarat Covid hospital!

Five killed, six injured as fire breaks out in Rajkot hospital’s ICU

Sabrangindia 27 Nov 2020

Hospital

A fire broke out in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) of Rajkot’s Uday Shivananda Hospital, a designated Covid care facility, at about 12:30 AM on Friday, November 27. Five Covid-19 patients were killed and six patients were injured in the inferno.

Bhikha Theba, chief fire officer of Rajkot told the Indian Express that at the time of the fire there were 33 patients in the hospital, 11 of whom were in the ICU. He told the publication, “Three of them died on the spot while we managed to rescue the remaining 30 and shift them to Gokul Hospital.”

Rajkot municipal commissioner Udit Agrawal told IE that two other people died while receiving treatment after being shifted to the other hospital.

According to Theba, the fire was put out in 30-45 minutes. He told IE, “It appears that the fire could have been started by an electronic short circuit.”

Rajkot mayor Bina Acharya said that the hospital had fire clearance and fire fighting equipment. Chief Minister Vijay Rupani has announced ex-gratia payment of Rs 4 lakhs to the next of kin.

 

 

Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who previously served as Chief Minister of Gujarat also offered his condolences:

 

 

The incident raises questions about how Covid care facilities are run in the state.

Chilling reminder of Ahmedabad Hospital fire

This incident brings back memories of a similar fire that broke out in the ICU of Shrey Hospital on September 6, in Ahmedabad killing eight people, all undergoing treatment for Covid-19. That incident was mired in controversy and a CBI inquiry was demanded when it was discovered that CCTV cameras did not record anything of significance on the night of the fire and that mobile phones of victims went missing mysteriously. Hospital authorities were accused of washing their hands off the incident by blaming it on the negligence of two junior level employees.

Civil society members had then issued a statement saying, “While the fire broke out reportedly due to a electrical short circuit, the inadequacy and non-adherence to standard fire safety mechanisms in the hospital, and the lack of evidence for any standard procedure of rescue having been initiated strengthens the suspicion that the hospital may have been criminally liable for the deaths of the unfortunate victims.”

The statement also pointed out failure to book the accused under proper sections of the law, saying, “For a fire of this nature, which took the lives of 8 helpless patients, which is likely to have occurred due to wilful negligence of fire safety rules and procedures, the charges should have been far more stringent.” They further demanded, “We feel that section 304 of the CrPC should have been invoked, and the failure of the police not to have done so raise(s) serious questions regarding their intent to do a free and fair investigation. There seems to be a conspiracy to get the hospital management off the hook.”

Related:

Shrey Hospital Fire: The curious case of the missing phones

Shrey Hospital case: Victims’ families demand CBI inquiry

Ayesha Tirmizi was recovering when her life was cut short

8 killed in Ahmedabad Covid-19 Hospital Fire 

Another fatal inferno in Gujarat Covid hospital!

Five killed, six injured as fire breaks out in Rajkot hospital’s ICU

Hospital

A fire broke out in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) of Rajkot’s Uday Shivananda Hospital, a designated Covid care facility, at about 12:30 AM on Friday, November 27. Five Covid-19 patients were killed and six patients were injured in the inferno.

Bhikha Theba, chief fire officer of Rajkot told the Indian Express that at the time of the fire there were 33 patients in the hospital, 11 of whom were in the ICU. He told the publication, “Three of them died on the spot while we managed to rescue the remaining 30 and shift them to Gokul Hospital.”

Rajkot municipal commissioner Udit Agrawal told IE that two other people died while receiving treatment after being shifted to the other hospital.

According to Theba, the fire was put out in 30-45 minutes. He told IE, “It appears that the fire could have been started by an electronic short circuit.”

Rajkot mayor Bina Acharya said that the hospital had fire clearance and fire fighting equipment. Chief Minister Vijay Rupani has announced ex-gratia payment of Rs 4 lakhs to the next of kin.

 

 

Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who previously served as Chief Minister of Gujarat also offered his condolences:

 

 

The incident raises questions about how Covid care facilities are run in the state.

Chilling reminder of Ahmedabad Hospital fire

This incident brings back memories of a similar fire that broke out in the ICU of Shrey Hospital on September 6, in Ahmedabad killing eight people, all undergoing treatment for Covid-19. That incident was mired in controversy and a CBI inquiry was demanded when it was discovered that CCTV cameras did not record anything of significance on the night of the fire and that mobile phones of victims went missing mysteriously. Hospital authorities were accused of washing their hands off the incident by blaming it on the negligence of two junior level employees.

Civil society members had then issued a statement saying, “While the fire broke out reportedly due to a electrical short circuit, the inadequacy and non-adherence to standard fire safety mechanisms in the hospital, and the lack of evidence for any standard procedure of rescue having been initiated strengthens the suspicion that the hospital may have been criminally liable for the deaths of the unfortunate victims.”

The statement also pointed out failure to book the accused under proper sections of the law, saying, “For a fire of this nature, which took the lives of 8 helpless patients, which is likely to have occurred due to wilful negligence of fire safety rules and procedures, the charges should have been far more stringent.” They further demanded, “We feel that section 304 of the CrPC should have been invoked, and the failure of the police not to have done so raise(s) serious questions regarding their intent to do a free and fair investigation. There seems to be a conspiracy to get the hospital management off the hook.”

Related:

Shrey Hospital Fire: The curious case of the missing phones

Shrey Hospital case: Victims’ families demand CBI inquiry

Ayesha Tirmizi was recovering when her life was cut short

8 killed in Ahmedabad Covid-19 Hospital Fire 

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