Maharashtra CM Uddhav Thackeray Orders Probe In Virar Hospital Fire Mishap

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Uddhav Thackeray, the Chief Minister of Maharashtra, on the 23rd of April, ordered a probe in the recent fire incident at Vijay Vallabh COVID-19 care hospital in Virar, Maharashtra.

On the morning of the 23rd of April, thirteen patients admitted at a Maharashtra Hospital died due to a fire mishap on the 23rd of April.

The 13 Novel Coronavirus patients who were in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) died in a fire at Vijay Vallabh Hospital in Virar, 70 km from Mumbai.  Speaking about the reason behind the fire, the District Disaster Control Cell Chief Vivekanand Kadam said that the fire was preceded by an explosion in the AC unit of the ICU.  He added, the fire was under control within an hour by the firefighters from the Vasai Virar Municipal Corporation. 

The Shiv Sena President Uddhav Thackeray ordered the probe after reviewing the matter.  The Chief Ministers’ Office (CMO) releases a statement regarding the same.  “The cause of the fire should be properly investigated. He also directed the administration to immediately inquire whether the fire safety was adequate and whether it was a private hospital.”  The CMO statement further read, “Thackeray has expressed sorrow over the death of some patients in a fire at the intensive care unit of Vijay Vallabh Hospital in Virar and directed that other patients undergoing treatment should not be harmed and should be relocated immediately.”

The official statement continued to read, “After learning about the fire, the Chief Minister himself has spoken to the concerned officials and asked them to first of all give priority to extinguishing the fire completely and ensure that treatment on other patients continues.” 

The Maharashtra Government also announced announced financial assistance of Rs five lakh each to the families of the 13 COVID-19 patients. Those who suffered serious injuries in the incident will be given one lakh compensation each. At least 90 patients were present in the hospital, including 18 in the ICU.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Union Home Minister Amit Shah, former CM of Maharashtra Devendra Fadnavis and other ministers expressed condolence to the families who lost their kin.  The Prime Minister also announced an ex gratia of Rs. 2 lakhs from the PMNRF for the kin of the deceased and Rs. 50,000 would be given to those seriously injured in the fire.

This iis the second such incident in Maharashtra hospital.  Recently, on the 21st of April, 22 people died due to a oxygen tanker leakage incident outside Zakir Hussain Hospital in Nashik.   The two tragic incidents came at a time when Maharashtra is facing the second wave of COVID-19, being the worst hit Indian state.  Over 67,000 fresh cases have been reported since yesterday. With a total caseload of over 40 lakh infections.  

Meanwhile, the State is also witnessing scarcity of oxygen gas and beds for COVID-19 patients. 

Stay tuned for further updates.

Also read: Maharashtra Government Imposes Additional Restrictions To Break The Chain Of COVID-19

Also read: PM Modi Holds Review Meeting Over Oxygen Availability For COVID-19 Patients