Bhandara hospital fire: Panel to submit report on Thursday


NEW DELHI: The panel probing the death of ten newborns in a fire at the Bhandara district hospital in Maharashtra on January 9 is expected to submit its report to the government on Thursday, state Health Minister Rajesh Tope said on Wednesday.

Ten newborn babies, admitted in the Special Newborn Care Unit of the hospital had died while seven others were rescued.

The report to be submitted by Nagpur divisional commissioner Sanjeev Kumar is expected to mention the likely cause of the fire and fix responsibility.

The Maharashtra government on January 9 announced the formation of a six-member team headed by the director of the health department to probe the incident.

The Nagpur divisional commissioner led the investigation.

An official had said that the probe team will also review the fire safety measures and other technical factors besides giving suggestions to prevent recurrence of such incidents in any hospital in the state.

Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray had ordered safety audit of all hospitals in the state.

He had said that the probe will ascertain if the fire was an accident or was the fallout of ignoring an earlier safety report.

Former Maharashtra energy minister Chandrashekhar Bawankule of the BJP had claimed that relatives of the deceased infants had brought fluctuations in power happening since last seven days at the affected ward to the notice of authorities in the hospital, but no action was taken.

He had also alleged a proposal to purchase fire safety equipment worth over Rs 1 crore at the hospital had been sent to principal secretary, health, and Director of Health, state government, in May this year but it is still pending for approval. (PTI)