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10 newborns killed in massive blaze at Bhandara hospital in Maharashtra

At least 10 newborn children died in a fire that broke out at the sick newborn care unit (SNCU) of Bhandara Civil Hospital, some 65 kms from Nagpur, on Saturday early morning.

Seven newborns were rescued from the hospital immediately after the fire broke out at around 2.00 am, said Pramod Khandate, the civil surgeon of Bhandara district. He added that an inquiry has been ordered to probe the incident.

The preliminary investigations suggest that a short circuit could have caused the tragedy. It was first detected by a nurse on duty, who opened the door to the SNCU and saw smoke all around the room. She immediately informed the hospital officials after which the fire brigade reached the spot and extinguished the fire. It was said that electrical warmers were being used for the new-born babies at the hospital, said an official.

Maharashtra health minister Rajesh Tope described the tragedy as unfortunate and ordered a high-level inquiry into the matter.

Senior officials, including the district collector, Sandip Kadam, civil surgeon of the district, Khandate, the district police superintendent, Vasant Jadhav, and the deputy director of state health service, Sanjay Jaiswal, have reached the spot.

By Hindustan Times

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