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Deadly Hospital Fire in New Delhi: Six Infants Killed, Arrests Made

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A devastating fire at a New Delhi pediatric hospital has killed six infants, leading to the arrests of a doctor and the hospital owner for negligence. This tragedy underscores India's ongoing fire safety issues.

Tragic Hospital Fire in New Delhi Kills Six Infants, Leads to Arrests

Indian police announced on Monday the arrest of a doctor and the owner of the New Born Baby Care pediatric hospital in New Delhi following a devastating fire that resulted in the deaths of six infants. The blaze broke out late Saturday evening in the Vivek Vihar district. According to police officer Surendra Chaudhary, the hospital was operating without an evacuation system, and its approval had expired in March.

Police further revealed that the hospital had exceeded its bed capacity, with more than ten beds installed instead of the authorized five. Passers-by first noticed the fire and intervened courageously, managing to rescue a dozen newborns. Unfortunately, six of the infants succumbed to the blaze before doctors could treat them. The remaining five babies are still recovering in a different hospital.

Vinod Sharma, who lost his one-day-old son in the fire, expressed his grief and frustration, blaming the hospital authorities for the tragedy. The fire spread rapidly due to the explosion of an oxygen cylinder, as stated by Atul Garg, director of the city's fire services. Fourteen fire trucks were mobilized to control the blaze.

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal both called the incident 'heartbreaking' and vowed that those responsible for the negligence would face consequences. Modi and Kejriwal expressed their solidarity with the families who lost their children in the disaster.

Series of Fires Highlights Safety Issues in India

The New Delhi hospital fire occurred just hours after another tragic fire at an amusement park in Gujarat, which resulted in 28 deaths. According to fire chief Ilesh Kher, the Gujarat fire was caused by welding work on the ground floor. Sparks from the welding ignited highly flammable material, causing the flames to spread rapidly. Authorities have charged seven individuals with intentional homicide in connection with the incident.

These twin tragedies underscore the frequent occurrence of fires in India, often fueled by poor building conditions, overcrowding, and weak safety regulations. In February, a fire at a paint factory in New Delhi claimed eleven lives. In 2022, a massive blaze in a commercial building in the city killed at least 27. Historical disasters include a 2016 explosion caused by fireworks in Kerala, which left over 100 people dead.

  • Vinod Sharma quoted in the media, voiced his outrage over the hospital's dangerous operating conditions which he believes were responsible for his son’s death. Local residents and passers-by played a crucial role in saving several infants before the emergency services arrived.
  • Officials emphasize the need for stricter enforcement of safety regulations in hospitals and other public buildings to prevent such tragedies.
  • India frequently experiences catastrophic fires due to lax enforcement of building codes and safety regulations. Many buildings are overcrowded and lack basic fire safety measures.
Clam Reports
Refs: | Le Parisien | Le Figaro |

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