NEW DELHI: Ten newborns were killed on Saturday in a massive fire at a hospital in Maharashtra, India’s richest state, a doctor said, as leading politicians expressed grief at the loss of life.
“The fire broke out at 2:00 am (2030 GMT) today,” said Pramod Khandate, a civil surgeon at Bhandara District General Hospital in the western state. Seven of the 17 children in the Sick Newborn Care Unit were rescued, Khandate told Reuters partner ANI.
All of those who died were aged between a few days and three months, according to reports.
Nurses on duty noticed a fire coming from the hospital’s neonatal unit and raised the alarm.
The fire brigade stopped the blaze from spreading to other parts of the hospital and other patients were moved to safety.
Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thakre ordered a probe into the incident.
“Heart-wrenching tragedy in Bhandara, Maharashtra, where we have lost precious young lives,” Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Twitter. “My thoughts are with all the bereaved families. I hope the injured recover as early as possible.”
Heart-wrenching tragedy in Bhandara, Maharashtra, where we have lost precious young lives. My thoughts are with all the bereaved families. I hope the injured recover as early as possible.
— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) January 9, 2021
A number of other politicians, including opposition leader Rahul Gandhi, also expressed their grief.