Eighteen people—16 corona virus patients and two nurses—died in a fire in Welfare Hospital in Bharuch district of Gujarat in the wee hours of Saturday (May 1).
According to reports there were in all 27 patients in the ICU ward of the hospital when the fire broke out. Local people rushed to the spot, broke the glass windows to rescue the rest of them. The fire broke out at around 1:00 AM when most of the patients were fast asleep.
The Fire Brigade personnel brought down the blaze within half an hour. Rest of the patients have been shifted to a private hospital in the vicinity.
The Fire department sources attribute the fire to short-circuit.
This is not the first case of fire to take place after the arrival of second wave. On April 23, fourteen people died in a fire in a hospital in Palghar district about 60 km from Mumbai. Officials attribute that fire to a blast in an air-conditioner.
Gujarat Chief minister Vijay Rupani announced an ex-gratia payment of Rs four lakh to each of the bereaved family. Condoling the incident, he has ordered a high-level inquiry into the tragedy.
The latest incident of fire took place after India recorded 4.02 lakh cases of corona virus and 3,523 deaths in the last 24 hours. Thus, for the first time India crossed the figure of four lakh in a single day. In fact, no country in the world has recorded four lakh cases in a single day ever since November 2019 when the first case of corona virus was reported from China.
Maharashtra continues to top the list of corona patients as well as deaths.