The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) on Monday sent a notice to Maharashtra Government over the horrific Bhandara Hospital fire incident that killed ten newborn babies. In its notice to the Director-General of Police and Chief Secretary, the NHRC sought a detailed report on the incident within four weeks.
After the unfortunate incident that took place on January 9, Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray ordered an inquiry into the tragic incident and directed the District Collector and the Superintendent of Police to investigate into the case. It has been found out that the neonatal zone of the hospital did not have any fire safety measures in place. An RTI reply from 2018 had revealed that fire safety instruments were not installed on the premises.
Maharashtra Women and Child Development Minister Yashomati Thakur on Monday visited the hospital and directed officials to ensure proper care of the mothers and families who lost their children in the tragedy. Thakur inspected the hospital and held discussions with the district collector and health officials.
In the wee hours on January 9 when the nurse on duty opened the Intensive Care Unit door late at night and saw a large amount of smoke in the room. He immediately informed the hospital authorities, after which a fire brigade was called. As per the SP of Bhandara district, 7 to 8 children were rescued as 10 children died due to suffocation caused by the fire outbreak.
After the tragic incident, Civil Surgeon in Bhandara, Pramod Khandate had said, "10 children have died in a fire that broke out at Sick Newborn Care Unit (SNCU) of Bhandara District General Hospital at 2 am. 7 children have been rescued so far."
State health minister Rajesh Tope announced Rs 5 lakh ex-gratia to the kin of the deceased in the fire accident. PM Modi expressed grief on the heart-wrenching tragedy and his office announced an ex-gratia of Rs 2 lakh each for the from Prime Minister’s National Relief Fund for the next of kin of those who lost their lives and Rs 50,000 each to those seriously injured.