Over a dozen patients were killed in a fire that broke out in the intensive care unit of the multi-story coronavirus hospital in the Indian coastal city of Virar, 70km (43 miles) north of Mumbai.
The fire broke out on Friday around 3:00 local time in the intensive care unit of the private hospital in Vijay Vallabh, which houses about 90 patients.
The intensive care unit of Vijay Vallabh hospital in Virar West catches fire at midnight around 3.15. Three fire brigade teams arrived on the scene .. Fire under control .. 13 PATIENTS DEAD pic.twitter.com/BPKhRZYvW5
– Urvi kar (@kar_urvi) April 23, 2021
13 covid patients died in the Virar hospital fire. According to the managing director of the Vijay Vallabh hospital. a spark in the ICU caused a huge fire. Other patients were transferred to another hospital. The investigation was ordered to investigate the cause of the fire.#FireInCovidHospitalpic.twitter.com/6bKu4Y2Ap4
– Dinesh Mourya (@ dineshmourya4) April 23, 2021
At the time the fire broke out, 18 patients were being treated in the ward, but only five survived the accident and were transported to nearby hospitals. The remaining 13 patients, including five women and eight men, died in the fire.
An investigation into what may have caused the fire was launched, with Maharashtra Prime Minister Uddhav Thackeray, who said he also ordered officials to check whether the hospital complied with fire safety regulations.
It has been reported that the fire may have been triggered by a short in the air conditioning unit which ultimately led to an explosion.
Thirteen people died in a fire at the Covid hospital in Virar, about 80 km north of Mumbai. A short circuit in the air conditioning unit at Vijay Vallabh Hospital is cited as the main reason, according to @htTweets match Ram Parmar. The fire, now extinguished, started at 3.15. pic.twitter.com/Z4MrgyRLDU
– Sachin Kalbag | Put on a mask and get vaccinated (@SachinKalbag) April 23, 2021
It took firefighters about two hours to extinguish the flames, which at that point reduced the ICU to smoking debris, social media footage shows.
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi expressed condolences to the families of the victims, calling the incident “Tragic” is pledging additional compensation for those who lost family members or were injured in the fire.
The incident comes as hospitals across India grapple with an oxygen supply shortage due to a wave of coronavirus infections, believed to be driven by the new “ double mutant ” strain. On Thursday, New Delhi banned supplies of oxygen for industrial purposes to ensure that depleted supplies of liquid oxygen in hospitals are replenished.
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On Friday, India broke its global record of daily coronavirus cases, reporting 332,730 infections, up from 314,835 new cases the previous day.
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