At least 18 people were killed in a fire at a hospital in the western Indian state of Gujarat late on Friday (30 April) night. The fire started around midnight in the intensive care ward of the Patel Welfare Hospital, a designated Covid-19 facility, in Bharuch city, 185km north of the state’s main commercial city, Ahmedabad.
‘Sixteen patients and two staff members have died in the fire. Twelve of them died due to fire and smoke,’ said RV Chudasama, a superintendent of police in Bharuch. ‘Preliminary investigation shows the fire was caused because of a short circuit,’ he said.
Local news channels showed footage of a hospital ward completely destroyed in the fire.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi said in a tweet he was ‘pained by the loss of lives due to a fire at a hospital in Bharuch’.
India’s healthcare system is struggling to cope with the coronavirus crisis, which has killed 211,853 people and infected more than 19 million, according to health-ministry data on Saturday.
A dozen people were reported killed after a fire in a hospital treating Covid-19 patients in a suburb of Mumbai on 23 April.
Earlier 22 patients died at a public hospital in Maharashtra where Mumbai is located when oxygen supplies ran out due to a leaking tank.
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