Delhi children hospital fire: Locals allege owners traded oxygen cylinders | Latest News Delhi - Hindustan Times
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Delhi children hospital fire: Locals allege owners traded oxygen cylinders

May 26, 2024 12:03 PM IST

At least seven newborn babies were killed after a massive fire broke out at New Born Baby Care Hospital in East Delhi’s Vivek Vihar on Saturday night

The residents of Vivek Vihar in East Delhi, where seven newborn babies died at a baby care centre, have alleged that oxygen cylinders were being traded at the centre, and they had earlier complained regarding this to the authorities. 

The fire broke out around 11.30pm on Saturday (Twitter Photo/ANI)
The fire broke out around 11.30pm on Saturday (Twitter Photo/ANI)

“Cylinders blast when the fire broke out. It’s unclear whether the fire broke out due to the cylinder blast or vice-versa. Owners of this centre were trading cylinders. They used to fill small cylinders from the bigger ones. The owners and management of this centre shared this concern. We had complained to local authorities but no action was taken,” said a local who did not wish to be identified. 

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According to Delhi health minister Saurabh Bharadwaj, the oxygen cylinder blasts led to a fire quickly spreading in the building.

Another local, Brijesh Kumar (68), said, “There was illegal refilling of cylinders on the first floor of the building. We raised this issue multiple times. The hospital has been running it for three years and every night, we could see trucks and vans loading and offloading oxygen cylinders. We used to think that the hospital was small. So, why do the owners need these many oxygen cylinders? We think they were involved in the oxygen cylinders trade.”

“It was during the refilling when one of the oxygen cylinders blasted. Since there were 20-30 cylinders in the vicinity, all of them caught fire. We had to run from our houses to save ourselves,” Kumar added.

Also Read: Children hospital fire: Delhi govt orders investigation into incident that killed 7

Vijay Jain (65), a trader, and resident said his daughter-in-law and son sustained injuries as they tried to escape. “We never saw a doctor there. There were only nurses and men, who would come at night and refill 20-30 cylinders. We filed a complaint with the police and local authorities. Nothing happened. The newborn babies were kept on the first floor while the ground floor and second floor were filled with cylinders and garbage.”

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

Police said that they received information about the fire at Baby Care Newborn Hospital and its adjacent building at 11:30pm following which fire tenders, senior officers, CATS ambulance and other authorities were rushed to the spot. 

Surendra Choudhary, Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP) (Shahdara), said there were 12 newborn babies admitted to the hospital and one had died before the fire incident.

“All the 12 newborn babies were rescued from the hospital with the help of other people and shifted to East Delhi Advance NICU Hospital in Vivek Vihar for treatment. Meanwhile, fire tenders reached the spot and the fire was controlled. Out of these babies, six were declared brought dead,” the DCP said.

The bodies have been further shifted to GTB Hospital for postmortem, he added.

A case under sections 336, 304A and 34 of the Indian Penal Code has been registered against the owner of the centre, Naveen Khichi, who is absconding, said police.

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