The fire, which started at 10:30 a.m., was caused by a short circuit in the hospital’s intensive care unit (ICU), which has more than 500 beds. Four women were among the 11 who died. The victims died of suffocation or burns. An eight-member committee was formed to investigate the cause of the fire.
Shankar Misal, fire chief of the Ahmednagar Municipal Corporation fire brigade, told TOI: “There was no fire alarm system in the intensive care unit, which is mandatory for any emergency. related to a fire. The intensive care unit did not have water sprinklers and the water line did not meet desired requirements. The intensive care unit did not have a smoke detector or fire hydrant.
Misal said such equipment was absent not only in intensive care but throughout the hospital.
The intensive care unit, located on the ground floor of the hospital, became operational last year after the outbreak of the Covid pandemic. The block had been built to treat women and children but has been converted to a Covid service.
District collector Rajendra Bhosale admitted there were issues with fire safety in the intensive care unit. He said equipment such as standpipes and sprinklers should have been in place at the time of the construction itself. He said it becomes difficult to undertake additional work when the services are operational.
On Sunday, 25 patients were admitted to the general service of the hospital. Senior officials said the hospital’s other 20-bed intensive care unit was intact. Critically ill patients can be transferred to this intensive care unit if necessary, they added.
However, after Saturday’s fire, no new patients had been admitted to the ICU. Six patients from the ICU were transferred to other hospitals in the city.
Those responsible will not be spared: Minister of Health
Maharashtra’s Health Minister Rajesh Tope said on Sunday that the eight-member team, led by Divisional Commissioner Radhakrishna Game, investigating the cause of the blaze, had been asked to submit its report within 8 days. . “Anyone found responsible for the fire will not be spared. The committee made up of fire and health experts is trying to find the reason for the incident, ”he added.