Ten babies have died in a massive fire at the Bhandara District General Hospital in Maharashtra. The fire broke out in the Special Newborn Care Unit (SNCU) of the hospital at around 2 AM today.  

At the time of the tragic incident, a total of 17 newborn babies were admitted to the neonatal care unit of the Bhandara District General Hospital. The nurses observed smoke in the neonatal care unit and raised an alarm.

The hospital staff extinguished the fire as soon as possible and rescued the seven babies in the inborn ward of the unit. But they couldn’t save the babies in the outbound ward. All the newborn babies, around 0-3 months old, died of suffocation due to the smoke. 

The cause of the fire is not known yet, but it was believed to be caused by a short circuit in the neonatal care unit. 

Prime Minister Narendra Modi condoled the loss of precious young lives in the fire calling the incident a “heart-wrenching tragedy”. 

Taking to his Twitter account, the PM wrote “Heart-wrenching tragedy in Bhandara, Maharashtra, where we have lost precious young lives. My thoughts are with all the bereaved families. I hope the injured recover as early as possible”. 

 Health Minister Rajesh Tope said that the Maharashtra government will provide Rs 5 lakh as compensation to the families. We will take all the preventive measures to prevent such incidents in the future. 

Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray has ordered an inquiry into the fire incident. Deputy Chief Minister of Maharashtra Ajit Pawar has issued an audit of the neonatal care units of all government and private hospitals.  

National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) has issued notice to District Commissioner, Bhandara to send factual action taken report within 48 hours in the matter of deaths of babies in a fire at Bhandara District General Hospital. 

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi took to Twitter to express his condolences to the families of the children who lost their lives. He also appealed to the Maharashtra government to assist the families of the injured & deceased.