Bharuch: At least 18 coronavirus patients have died after a fire broke out at a hospital in Bharuch in Gujarat on Saturday.
Heartbreaking visuals of the tragedy have shown the remains of some patients roasted alive on stretchers and beds.
There were around 50 other patients at the four-story social hospital when the fire broke out in the COVID-19 ward at 1 a.m. They were rescued by locals and firefighters, an official said.
“According to reports at 6.30 am, the death toll for the tragedy was 18. Immediately after the fire, we had confirmation of 12 deaths,” a police official said. PTI.
The 12 patients of the COVID-19 department have died from the fire and the resulting smoke, said Bharuch SP Rajendrasinh Chudasama.
It is not known whether the other six also died at the social hospital or during their transfer to other hospitals.
The COVID-19 designated hospital is located on the Bharuch-Jambusar highway, about 190 km from the state capital, Ahmedabad, and is managed by a trust.
The cause of the fire has not yet been determined, the official said.
The blaze was brought under control within an hour and around 50 patients were rescued by residents as well as firefighters, a fire official said. They were transferred to nearby hospitals, he added.
Heartbreaking scenes outside the hospital
Relatives of coronavirus patients who perished in a fire at a Bharuch hospital gathered outside the building in the wee hours of Saturday, blaming the facility’s administration for the tragedy.
There were chaotic scenes outside the social hospital as authorities tried to calm the restless family of the victims.
“The fire was so intense that the intensive care unit was almost completely burned down. All the equipment inside, including the fans and the refrigerator used to store the drugs and also the beds, were reduced to ashes. “said an eyewitness.
Some patients were charred beyond recognition and loved ones struggled to identify their bodies.
The ringing of ambulances and fire offers could be heard in the vicinity of the hospital as dozens of such vehicles rushed to the hospital to put out the blaze and also to move the patients who survived. fire to other hospitals.
People have been seen desperately trying to find out if their loved ones are safe inside the hospital.
Along with rescue teams, many residents have been seen volunteering to rescue patients and move them to ambulances so they can be taken to nearby hospitals.
Several patients were moved on wheelchairs or makeshift stretchers using fabric in the absence of stretchers.
Residents have mobilized to help rescue patients and take them to ambulances and auto rickshaws to transfer them to other hospitals in time.
Several district police vehicles have also arrived to ensure law and order remain under control.
A relative of a patient who was transferred to the civilian hospital here was seen searching for the file in a pile of garbage dumped after the fire.
She said she was looking for the file so that doctors at the hospital he was taken to can begin treatment immediately.