Thirteen Covid-19 patients died in a hospital fire at Virar in Palghar district of Maharashtra early on Friday morning. The fire broke out in the ICU on the second floor of the four-storeyed Vijay Vallabh Hospital shortly after 3 am. Till 5:20 am firefighters extinguished the blaze, authorities told PTI. There were 17 patients in the ICU when the fire broke out, an official said. Four patients were rescued and shifted to other hospitals in the area, he added. Virar is over 50 km from Mumbai.
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Prime Minister Narendra Modi condoled the deaths and announced an ex-gratia of Rs 2 lakh for the deceased’s family members and Rs 50,000 for the severely injured. BJP’s Devendra Fadnavis, Union Minister Nitin Gadkari, state’s chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray, Defence minister Rajnath Singh and Odisha chief minister Naveen Pattanaik expressed grief over the tragic incident.
Meanwhile, Maharashtra Minister Eknath Shinde on the incident said, those found responsible won’t be spared and the government will provide financial assistance of Rs 5 lakhs each to the families of those who lost their lives
The tragedy comes two days after 22 COVID-19 patients who were either on ventilator or oxygen support, suffocated to death when their oxygen supply stopped suddenly due to a malfunction in the main storage at a civic hospital in Nashik. District Disaster Control Cell chief Vivekanand Kadam told.