The Managing Director of Shine Childrens Hospital in LB Nagar, Hyderabad, and four others were arrested on Friday for alleged negligence after a baby died in a fire accident. A four-month-old baby was killed and four others suffered injuries after a fire broke out in the hospital’s Neonatal Intensive Care Unit on October 21.
The District Medical and Health Officer in their report earlier pointed out several violations in the hospital. Though the hospital had permission to have only 20 beds, they had increased the number of beds to 50 illegally. Besides, the hospital did not have a fire exit, the DMHO had said.
Following the death of the baby, his father, Dongari Naresh, filed a complaint with the LB Nagar police on the same day.
Based on the complaint, police had filed a case under 304 A (causing death due to negligence). However, after investigation they added section 338 (Causing grievous hurt by act endangering life), 336 (act endangering life or personal safety of others) of IPC and Section 31 read with Section 19 of Telangana Fire Service Act, 1999, and arrested MD of hospital V Sunil Reddy, duty doctor Hari Krishna, nurse Sravanthi, nurse Shanthi Deepika and electrician Basheer.
Police said that Sunil Reddy failed to keep fire protection equipment, fire alarm system and fire extinguishing sprinklers on the premises as per norms. They also said that he was running the hospital without permission from the Director, Enforcement, Vigilance and Disaster Management, GHMC, Hyderabad and without a No Objection Certificate (NOC) from the fire department.
The fire broke in the hospital after the refrigerator exploded due to an alleged short circuit. The police found that the duty doctor Hari Krishna was negligent and failed in protecting the babies as he did not reach the NICU immediately when the fire and blast were reported. The nurse, Sravanthi was supposed to be on duty in NICU and she abandoned the NICU at 1.57 am, closed the door and went away, police said. They also arrested duty nurse Shanthi Deepika working at the pediatric ICU, as she allegedly did not bother to rescue the children. The electrician was arrested for the malfunction of the refrigerator.
According to police, the hospital building was inadequate and un-authorized without any second exit. "There are no fire exits in case of an event of a fire. There are no fire escape warnings to the public on any of the floors of the building to show possible exits to use, such as staircase only and to avoid the use of lifts etc. in the event of fire," police said in a press statement.