September 22, 2021

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At least 13 dead after fire broke out in intensive care unit at Covid-19 hospital near Mumbai, India – RT World News

At least 13 dead after fire broke out in intensive care unit at Covid-19 hospital near Mumbai, India - RT World News

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.

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.

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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