June 15, 2024

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Delhi: Newborn babies die after fire in hospital

Delhi: Newborn babies die after fire in hospital

  • author, Dearbil Jordan
  • Role, BBC News correspondent

At least six newborn babies were killed in a fire that broke out in a hospital in Delhi, according to police.

The fire broke out late Saturday evening at a hospital in the Vivek Vihar area of ​​the Indian capital.

Senior police officer Surendra Chaudhary said the unit included 12 children. Another died before the fire started.

Authorities said legal action would be taken against the hospital owner who fled.

Dramatic images spread on social media show several bursts of fire that engulfed the entire building.

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said the fire was “heartbreaking”.

“The causes of the accident are being investigated and no one responsible for this negligence will be absolved,” Kejriwal said.

Atul Garg, director of the Delhi Fire Department, told the Press Trust of India that 14 fire trucks had been dispatched to fight the blaze.

He added, “The fire spread very quickly due to the explosion of an oxygen cylinder.”

Officials said rescue efforts were slowed by limited access to the building, which has a single staircase and no fire escape.

The hospital is sandwiched between residential homes, and it is not yet clear whether it followed all safety rules, nor what caused the fire to begin with.

“The fire tragedy at a hospital in Delhi is heartbreaking,” Prime Minister Narendra Modi previously tweeted.

The families of the deceased are awaiting the results of the DNA tests before the bodies are delivered.

The arcade fire was allegedly started by an electrical short, and within hours the two-storey building was destroyed. When the BBC team arrived at the site, all that was visible was scrap metal and flammable debris.

Authorities continued to search for more bodies under the rubble on Sunday.

Fires are not uncommon in Indian cities, where building regulations are often violated, residential and commercial areas are not clearly separated, and enforcement of safety regulations can be lax.

(Additional reporting by Roxy Jagdekar Chara, BBC Gujarati)