At least four patients, including a woman, died after a massive fire broke out at the Well Treat Hospital in Wadi area of West Nagpur late on Friday night. The hospital is treating patients of the coronavirus disease (Covid-19).
Four fire tenders were rushed to the spot and it took an hour to bring the fire under control. Names and identities of the deceased are not yet known.
According to people familiar with developments, around 27 patients at the hospital have been shifted to the government-run medical college and hospital and Indira Gandhi Medical College in a critical condition.
It is believed the fire started on the first floor of the hospital and the smoke further spread to the second floor where 10 patients were inside the Intensive Care Unit (ICU). Of these, the hospital staff managed to rescue six while the remaining four patients died of asphyxiation caused due to toxic smoke.
"We can't comment on the health condition of others now as we are busy shifting the patients to other hospitals," Nagpur Police Commissioner Amitesh Kumar said.
Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MLA Samir Meghe, who represents the area, said the cause of the fire is yet to be ascertained. Camping at the site to oversee rescue and relief operations, Meghe pointed out, "Prima facie it appears that a short circuit could have triggered the fire,"
Maharashtra chief minister Uddhav Thackeray has directed Nagpur guardian minister Nitin Raut to visit the spot and order an investigation into the accident. District collector Ravindra Thakare, meanwhile, said he had a talk with the civil surgeon and asked him to conduct a probe and submit a report as soon as possible.
This incident in Nagpur comes a month after a fire broke out at Mumbai's Sunrise Hospital where several patients being treated for Covid-19 were killed.
Over 6,550 new cases of Covid-19 were reported in Nagpur on Friday while 67 more people succumbed due to the disease.