Fire at Delhi hospital kills seven newborn, enquiry ordered

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At least seven newborn babies were killed after a massive fire broke out at New Born Baby Care hospital in east Delhi of Vivek Vihar on Saturday night. As many as 12 babies were rescued, out of which six died, while one died before the fire call was made.

Day after the blaze erupted, the Delhi government on Sunday ordered a magisterial inquiry into the fire tragedy incident to fix out the responsibility. Divisional Commissioner Ashwani Kumar in its order has directed the district magistrate of the Shahdara district to inquire into the fire tragedy that occurred on Saturday night. He has asked to submit the inquiry report “as expeditiously as possible”.

“District Magistrate (Shahadra)/Chairman, District Disaster Management Authority is hereby directed to inquire into the said fire tragedy so as: To ascertain the circumstances that led to the fire tragedy, to fix the responsibility on the persons responsible for the said incident and to suggest the measures to prevent recurrence of such incidents in future,” reads the order.

Earlier, in the day, Delhi Lt Governor VK Saxena directed the Chief Secretary Naresh Kumar to “institute an inquiry” into the case.  “Have asked the chief secretary to institute an inquiry into the tragic incidents of fire in children’s hospital in Delhi. Also instructed CP (commissioner of police) to ensure all that is needful,” Mr Saxena said in a post on X. “My heartfelt condolences to bereaved families.” “I assure all relief and will ensure that guilty are brought to book,” he added.

The fire out at the Baby Care New Born Hospital in the Vivek Vihar area around 11:30 pm on Saturday and spread to two adjacent buildings. Twelve newborns were rescued from the facility but seven of them died and five are undergoing treatment at the East Delhi Advanced NICU, officials said. The bodies have been shifted to GTB Hospital for post-mortem. They were brought out of the building with the help of locals from a window behind the hospital, a senior police officer said.

Meanwhile, city health minister Saurabh Bharadwaj also directed the chief secretary to ensure a speedy inquiry into the fire incident. Following the incident, Mr Bharadwaj sent directions to Health Secretary SB Deepak Kumar and Chief Secretary Naresh Kumar. In the communication, he said directions were emailed to Deepak Kumar since he was not responding to phone calls and messages.

Mr Bharadwaj ordered a speedy inquiry and sought the names and designations of officers or private people responsible for the “negligence”. He also issued directions to ensure free treatment of the rescued infants in the best private hospitals under the city government’s Farishtey scheme. He also directed for speedy release of compensation to the families of the victims and the injured.