Hospital fire: Swift action of fire personnel saved 7 infants

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Nagpur, Jan 9 (PTI) Swift actions of Fire Brigade personnel and security guards at the Bhandara district hospital in Maharashtra saved the lives of seven infants admitted at the Special Newborn Care Unit following a fire incident on early Saturday, but unfortunately ten other babies were not that lucky.

Sharing this information with reporters at Nagpur airport, state Home Minister Anil Deshmukh also said that experts at the National Fire College and the Visvesvaraya National Institute of Technology (VNIT) in Nagpur are investigating the cause of the fire.

'Security guards and fire brigade personnel immediately sprang to action and rescued seven babies from the hospital ward,' he said, adding that the guilty will not be spared.

Speaking to reporters, former chief minister and BJP leader Devendra Fadnavis said security guards used a ladder to rescue the seven infants.

'It seems the fire erupted after a spark in the air conditioner (of the hospital ward). Fortunately, seven babies were saved as security guards rescued them using a ladder,' he said.

Alleging human error as the cause behind the tragedy, Fadnavis said families of the deceased infants should be compensated with Rs 10 lakh each.

Earlier in the day, state health minister Rajesh Tope told reporters that at least three of the ten infants died of burn injuries while seven others died of suffocation caused by smoke in the hospital ward.

Tope said Rs 5 lakh would be paid to family members of each of the deceased infant. PTI CORR CLS NSK NSK