At least 13 COVID-19 patients died after a fire broke out at a private hospital in India's Maharashtra state on Friday morning.
According to the officials, the fire broke out in the intensive care unit (ICU) on the second floor of the four-storey Vijay Vallabh Hospital at Virar in Palghar District at around 3:15 am (local time).
"Around 17 patients were present in the ICU when the fire broke out. Several fire tenders were rushed to the spot. The fire was brought under control by 5:30 am," District Disaster Control Cell chief Vivekanand Kadam told Sputnik.
He further mentioned that four patients were rescued and shifted to other hospitals in the area.
"The fire took place at the hospital due to an explosion in the Air Conditioner unit of the intensive care unit. We are expecting a short-circuit to have been the cause of the fire," Kadam said.
The Maharashtra government has ordered a probe into the incident.
Indian Defence Minister Rajnath Singh expressed condolences to the bereaved families.
Saddened by the loss of lives due to tragic fire at a Hospital in Palghar, Maharashtra. My condolences to the bereaved families. Praying for the speedy recovery of the injured.— Rajnath Singh (@rajnathsingh) April 23, 2021
The tragedy comes two days after 22 COVID-19 patients suffocated to death after their their oxygen supply stopped suddenly due to a malfunction in the main storage at a civic hospital in Nashik, a city in the same state. The patients were either on ventilators or oxygen support.