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16 patients, 2 nurses die as fire breaks out in ICU of Bharuch Covid facility

Sources said there were 24 patients in the ICU ward when the fire broke out at the Covid wing of the Welfare Hospital in Bharuch. There were nine women among the 16 who died.

Sixteen Covid patients and two nurses were killed as a major fire broke out in the ICU of a hospital in Gujarat’s Bharuch district in the early hours of Saturday.

Sources said there were 24 patients in the ICU ward when the fire broke out at the Covid wing of the Welfare Hospital in Bharuch.

Charmy Gohil, a nurse who was on duty in ICU-1 ward, and who sustained burns on her left leg, told The Sunday Express on the phone, “We saw a spark in the ventilator of bed no 5 in ICU-1 ward, and suddenly, there was a fire. Two of my colleagues and I were in the ward. While they were trying to figure out what happened, their PPE kit caught fire and suddenly, the entire room was on fire. I managed to come out of the ward but my PPE kit too caught fire.” Gohil is under treatment at the same hospital.

Bharuch district police said the hospital had 57 patients, of whom 12 were in ICU-1 ward and 12 in ICU-2 ward, with the remaining in the general Covid ward. There were nine women among the 16 who died.

Talking to the Indian Express Bharuch SP Rajendrasinh Chudasma said, “Sixteen patients and two nurses died in the incident, while other patients were shifted to private hospitals. The fire was brought under control before it could spread to other areas. At present the reason behind the fire is not yet known. We will probe into the incident.”

Hospital sources said local residents and police broke the glass window panes to rescue the other patients.

For over a year now, as cases in the district rose, a newly constructed building of the Welfare Hospital — managed by The Bombay Patel Welfare Society, Bharuch — has been running as a designated Covid hospital.

Chief Minister Vijay Rupani has sent two senior bureaucrats to Bharuch for an inquiry. Rupani said a judicial inquiry would also be announced into the fire. An ex-gratia aid of Rs 4 lakh from the chief minister’s relief fund would be given to each of the next of kin of the victims, Rupani added.

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