At least eight patients died, while several others were injured after a major fire broke out at a COVID-19 hospital in India's Ahmedabad on Thursday morning.
According to officials from the Ahmedabad Fire Department, all eight victims, including five men and three women, were COVID-19 patients admitted to the hospital in the Indian state of Gujarat. They were being treated in the ICU ward of the COVID-19 designated Shrey Hospital in Ahmedabad.
"Around 12 fire tenders were rushed to the spot to douse the flames. It took an hour to bring the fire under control. We are trying ascertain the exact cause of the fire", the fire department official said.
The Shrey Hospital's administration stated that around 50 COVID-19 patients were undergoing treatment at the facility. Some ten of these were in the ICU unit.
More than 35 other COVID-19 patients at the hospital were rescued and transferred to a civic hospital in the city.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has said he was saddened by the tragedy as he offered his condolences to the families of those who lost their lives in the fire.
Saddened by the tragic hospital fire in Ahmedabad. Condolences to the bereaved families. May the injured recover soon. Spoke to CM @vijayrupanibjp Ji and Mayor @ibijalpatel Ji regarding the situation. Administration is providing all possible assistance to the affected.— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) August 6, 2020
Modi announced an ex gratia payment of INR 200,000 ($2,672) for the families of the deceased, while INR 50,000 ($670) will be given to those injured due to the fire.
State chief of Gujarat Vijay Rupani has already ordered a probe into the incident.