Delhi hospital tragedy

Baby Care New Born Child Hospital in Delhi, where seven newly born babies died after a fire broke out, had flouted the guidelines of the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) on the storage of oxygen cylinders, said sources.

Delhi Police have arrested the hospital owner and the doctor on duty in connection with the incident. The owner was identified as Naveen Kichi, a resident of Bhairon Enclave, Paschim Vihar while the doctor was identified as Dr Aaksh (26), a resident of district Charkhi Dadri in Haryana, who is BAMS.

According to an MHA circular dated April 23, 2021, on guidelines for the safe storage, transportation, and handling of liquid oxygen for medical use, oxygen must be kept at least 20 feet away from flammables and combustibles or be separated by a half-hour firewall. Additionally, 'No Smoking' and 'No Open Flames' signs must be posted.

Delhi baby care fire incident

"Liquid containers should not be left open to the atmosphere for extended periods. Keep all valves closed and outlet caps in place when not in use. If restriction results from freezing moisture or foreign material present in openings and vents, contact the vendor for instructions. Restrictions and blockages may result in dangerous over-pressurization. Do not attempt to remove the restriction without proper instructions. If possible, move the cylinder to a remote location," read the circular.

Official sources revealed that the cylinders were stored less than 20 feet away from the area where babies were admitted.

The licence issued to the Baby Care New Born Child Hospital by the Delhi Government Health Services (DGHS) has already expired on March 31 and the doctors at the hospitals were not qualified/ competent to treat the newborn child in need of Neonatal Intensive care, as they are BAMS degree holders only.

Deputy Commissioner of Police (Shahdara) Surendra Chaudhary had earlier said that on May 26 at around 11.30 p.m. a police control room (PCR) call regarding a fire at Baby Care NewBorn Hospital was received at Vivek Vihar police station, following which a police team rushed to the spot. Upon reaching the spot, the fire had engulfed the hospital and its adjacent building.

"In the hospital, there were 12 newborn babies admitted and one was already dead before the fire incident. Six of these 12 newborns died in the fire," said the DCP.

(With inputs from IANS)