Bhandara hospital fire: CM warns of action if negligence is found

Uddhav Thackeray. File   | Photo Credit: Emmanual Yogini

In the wake of the horrific tragedy in which 10 newborn babies died in a hospital fire in Maharashtra’s Bhandara district, Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray on Sunday said that orders had been given for conducting a safety and fire audit of all government hospitals across the State.

Mr. Thackeray visited the Bhandara district general hospital on Sunday. He met the grief-stricken parents who lost their babies in the accident which occurred in the wee hours of Saturday. He also spoke to health officials in the district, which is part of the State’s Vidarbha region.

Promising that stern action would be taken against those found guilty of negligence, Mr. Thackeray said that a committee had been formed by the administration to conduct a comprehensive probe into the tragedy.

“I approached the parents of the deceased children with folded hands…I have no words to console them…certainly, there will be an inquiry. The probe we have announced will also check if the fire was indeed an accident or it was because of ignoring an earlier safety report,” said Mr. Thackeray, who was accompanied by Assembly Speaker Nana Patole and Minister Vishwajeet Kadam.

The committee would comprise the divisional commissioner and Mumbai fire brigade chief P.S. Rahangdale, the CM said.

Reassuring the victims’ kin that the truth would come out, Mr. Thackeray said that while the inquiry would not recklessly hold anyone responsible, stringent action would be taken if it emerged that there was negligence on part of authorities.

“The purpose of the committee’s investigations will be to prevent such unfortunate incidents from recurring in the future…I have also directed the authorities to investigate if there have been any incidents of ignoring safety regulations at hospitals during the COVID-19 pandemic,” he said.

Meanwhile, former chief minister and Bharatiya Janata Party’s Leader of Opposition in the Assembly, Devendra Fadnavis, has demanded that a case of culpable homicide be lodged against the hospital authorities.

“This accident at a district government hospital is a ‘black day’ for Maharashtra,” Mr. Fadnavis said.

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Printable version | Mar 7, 2021 8:47:42 AM |

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