MUMBAI – Ten children died after a fire broke out at a special newborn care unit in India’s western state of Maharashtra in the wee hours of Saturday.
Seven children have been rescued from the hospital located in Bhandara district, 896 km from Mumbai, and have been shifted to another unit, said a surgeon of the civic hospital.
A nurse on night duty at the hospital noticed smoke emanating from the ward and alerted the doctor on duty.
The fire was brought under control by the local fire brigade team of the district while the short circuit is believed to be the cause of the tragedy as per preliminary investigations, said a local police official.
Maharashtra’s Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray has ordered a probe and has announced an ex-gratia amount of 6,814 U.S. dollars to each of the kin of the deceased.
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi offering his condolences on micro-blogging site, said, “Heart-wrenching tragedy in Bhandara, Maharashtra, where we have lost precious young lives. My thoughts are with all the bereaved families.”
The state government has also ordered a safety audit of infant wards at all hospitals in Maharashtra.