New Delhi: A day after 11 Covid-19 patients were killed after a major fire broke out in the Intensive Care Unit of the Ahmednagar Civil Hospital in Maharashtra, the family members who bid farewell to their dead relatives are still in a state of shock and yet to come to terms with the reality.
The bodies were handed over to the family members by the hospital administration late Saturday evening.
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Adinath Wagh, who lost his uncle Ramkishan Harpude in the hospital blaze, performed his cremation at their native place in Nevasa last night.
“It was only two days back that he was admitted and we were expecting a speedy recovery. But he died in the fire tragedy,” PTI quoted Wagh as saying.
He further said many of his close family members were distraught and inconsolable as they could not see his 70-year-old uncle’s face one last time because of Covid-19 protocols.
Bhagwan Pawar, who lost his father Bhivaji Pawar in the hospital blaze, said that they had to perform his last rites in Ahmednagar instead of their native village in Parner tehsil.
“My father had a tragic death. Due to Covid-19, the cremation was conducted in Ahmednagar only. Only a few of us were present in the crematorium,” he said and lamented that the other relatives could not attend the funeral.
Vivek Khatik, who also lost his father Kadu Bal Gangadhar Khatik, in the tragedy, said that his funeral was performed at their village in Nevasa tehsil.
“We received the body late Saturday evening for the last rites. My mother was also in the same ICU. We could save her, but not my father,” he said.
Meanwhile, Ahmednagar Municipal Corporation’s chief fire officer Shankar Misal said that the hospital where the untoward incident took place lacked various fire safety measures suggested earlier by them.
“Barring fire extinguishers, the other safety measures that we had suggested were not there,” PTI quoted the senior fire official as saying.
Asserting that this was the first such incident at the hospital, Misal said: “Our recommendations, including for sprinklers, were not implemented.”
The senior fire official further said that they are conducting a thorough investigation into the incident.
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Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray has expressed his condolences over the tragedy and ordered a probe into the incident.
Maharashtra Health Minister Rajesh Tope earlier on Saturday said that the District Collector has been ordered to conduct the inquiry of the incident and submit the report in a week’s time, ANI reported.