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Friday, July 12, 2024

India: 7 babies killed in fire at Delhi children’s hospital, case against owner

There were a total of 12 babies in the hospital, out of which one was already dead, six died after the fire incident, while the remaining five others admitted to another hospital for treatment.

In Short

  • Of the seven victims, one died in the ICU on Sunday morning
  • Cause of the fire yet to be ascertained
  • Rescue operations currently underway

At least seven babies were killed following a massive fire at a children’s hospital in Delhi’s Vivek Vihar area on Saturday night, police said. There were a total of 12 newborns in the hospital, out of which one was already dead, six died after the fire incident, while the remaining five others were admitted to another hospital for treatment, the police said.

Delhi Police has registered an FIR against Naveen Kichi, the owner of the New Born Baby Care Hospital, under sections 336 (endangering life of personal safety of others), 304A (death by negligence) and 34 (criminal activity) of the IPC. He is currently absconding.

In a brief statement, DCP Shahdara said, “In the hospital there were 12 newborns admitted. They were all rescued and shifted to the East Delhi Advance NICU Hospital, Vivek Vihar for treatment. Out of these babies, six were declared brought dead and one died earlier. The seven bodies have been further shifted to GTB Hospital for postmortem.”

At about 11.30 pm on Saturday, the Vivek Vihar police station received a PCR call regarding the blaze at the New Born Baby Care Hospital, as well as an adjacent building.

Top police officials rushed to the spot to enquire about the incident, while 16 fire tenders were dispatched by the Delhi Fire Services. The blaze was doused in the early hours of Sunday.

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There were no reports of casualties or injuries from the building adjacent to the hospital, which was also engulfed in flames.

Delhi Fire Services chief Atul Garg said aan oxygen cylinder blast was the likely cause of the fire.

Speaking to the ANI news agency, he said, “It was a very tough operation. We made two teams. One team started firefighting because there was a blast of cylinders. We can say it was a chain of blasts of cylinders. We had to save ourselves also. We started rescue operations for babies as well. Unfortunately, we could not save all the children… That is a regrettable incident.”

https://x.com/ANI/status/1794580342743163090

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal called the hospital fire “heartbreaking”, adding that the “causes of the incident are being investigated and whoever is responsible for this negligence will not be spared”.

Also commenting on the tragedy, Delhi Health Minister Saurabh Bharadwaj said “strictest punishment will be ensured for those found negligent or involved in any wrong doing”.

“Very unfortunate incident reported. I have asked Secretary (Health) to update about the current situation. Culprits will not be spared. Strictest punishment will be ensured for those found negligent or involved in any wrong doing,” he said in a tweet.

Bharadwaj told ANI news agency that another rescued child was in critical condition.

“We will take such strict action that none of the officials commit such negligence in future. We are with the families who have lost their babies. I’ll talk to the DCP regarding this and that a prosecution should be launched on the owners as soon as possible,” he added.

https://x.com/ANI/status/1794583890411331730

The incident comes in the wake of a major fire tragedy in Gujarat’s Rajkot, which claimed the lives of 24 people, including nine children, after a massive blaze ripped through a gaming zone.

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