A massive fire broke out in the ICU of the Bharuch Welfare Hospital. Social media once again filled with images of chaos and panic as ambulances began evacuating survivors. According to reports, around 18 patients who were undergoing treatment for Covid-19 have died after a fire broke out at the four- storeyed hospital in Bharuch, Gujarat on Saturday.
According to reports there were around 50 more patients at the hospital when the fire broke out in the Covid-19 ward at 1 A.M on Saturday. Police confirmed to the media that 12 patients were killed in the fire and six others succumbed to their injuries a short while later, taking the death toll to 18. Senior police officer Rajendrasinh Chudasama, told the media that the 12 patients in the Covid-19 ward died due to the fire and resultant smoke, however, it was not known if the other six also died while still at the Welfare Hospital or while being shifted to other hospitals.
The Covid-19 designated hospital is on the Bharuch-Jambusar highway, around 190 km from Ahmedabad and is being run by a trust stated media reports. While investigations are on to determine the cause of the fire, officials told the media that the fire was controlled within an hour, and around 50 patients were rescued by locals as well as firefighters. The survivors were soon shifted to other hospitals.
Gujarat CM Vijay Rupani expressed his condolences to “patients, doctors and hospital staff who lost their lives in the fire accident at Bharuch Hospital” and announced that the state government will provide assistance of Rs 4 lakh to the families of each of the victims. Additional Chief Secretary for Labour & Employment Vipul Mitra and Commissioner Municipalities Rajkumar Beniwal have been directed to investigate the incident. The Prime Minister has also tweeted his condolences.
Pained by the loss of lives due to a fire at a hospital in Bharuch. Condolences to the bereaved families.
— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) May 1, 2021
Fires reported from Covid-19 hospitals so far:
April 23, 2021: 13 killed in private Covid hospital fire at Virar, Mumbai
Around 90 patients were admitted to the hospital at the time of the incident. Visuals on social media soon showed the chaos after the incident as medical staff moved out other patients to safety
April 21, 2021: Oxygen tanker leak kills 22 patients in Nashik
The incident occurred at the municipal corporation run Zakir Husain Hospital in Nashik. The oxygen tanker leaked causing shortage supply to critical patients who were on ventilator support. Around 150 patients were either oxygen-dependent or on ventilators, 31 patients were shifted to other hospitals after the tragic incident.
March 26, 2021: Ten killed in fire at Sunrise hospital, Mumbai
Ten innocent lives were lost in the devastating fire that broke out Sunrise Hospital, Dream Mall in Bhandup, Mumbai. Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray had said that action will be taken against those who are found responsible. He visited the spot and announced a compensation of Rs 5 lakh to the next of kin of the victims.
January 9, 2021: 10 newborns killed in Bhandara hospital fire
10 babies ranging from one-month to three-months old had died during a fire in the Sick Newborn Care Unit (SNCU) at the district hospital in Bhandara, Maharashtra on January 9. Following this, the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) sent a notice to Maharashtra’s Bhandara district general hospital on January 11, 2021 demanding a detailed report.
August 6, 2020: 8 killed in Ahmedabad Covid Hospital fire
On August 6, 2020 a fire had broken out in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) of the hospital leading to the deaths of eight Covid-19 patients at the Shrey Hospital. Advocate Suhel Tirmizi, whose wife Ayesha was one of the victims, had filed a PIL demanding accountability be fixed on various state and hospital authorities. On December 15, while passing orders in a batch of Public Interest Litigations (PIL) in connection with the Shrey Hospital fire case, the Gujarat High Court made a series of pertinent observations and passed orders that are bound to have a far-reaching impact. Responding to points raised about fire safety, court issues a slew of order fixing responsibility on various officials.