Gorakhpur Hospital Tragedy: 30 Children Die After 'Disruption' of Oxygen Supply
Maximum deaths have been reported from the Neonatal and Encephalitis wards of BRD Hospital College. As per the preliminary information, liquid oxygen supply was stopped by the supplier as the payment of around Rs 67 lakh was due.
File photo of children suffering from Japanese Encephalitis at a hospital in Gorakhpur. Representative image/ Reuters
Most deaths were reported from the Neonatal and Encephalitis wards of BRD Hospital College.
As per preliminary information, liquid oxygen supply was stopped by the supplier as payment of around Rs 67 lakh was due.
Soon after the deaths were reported in the media, the principal of BRD Medical College, Rajeev Mishra, left Gorakhpur for Delhi. As per the reports, Mishra knew about the shortage of oxygen supply for some time, but did not pay heed towards clearing the dues.
However, Gorakhpur administration said the death were due to illness, not lack of oxygen supply.
District Magistrate Rajeev Rautela told News18, “Thirty children have lost their lives due to encephalitis in the last 48 hours at BRD hospital. Yes, the supply of liquid oxygen was disrupted yesterday (Thursday) due to pending payment. I have requested suppliers not to disrupt the supply.”
The Union home ministry, however, said that according to the SP of Gorakhpur, 21 children died due to shortage of supply of liquid oxygen.
"As per SP Gorakhpur, 21 children died due to shortage of supply of liquid oxygen in BRD Medical College, in last 36 hours. Senior officers are on the spot. Exact cause is being verified by civil administration," a home ministry spokesperson told PTI.
A statement by authorities concerned said that the district administration was present at the hospital and monitoring the situation.
Former chief minister Akhilesh Yadav demanded a compensation of Rs 20 lakh for the families of each victim. He also demanded strict action against those responsible.
गोरखपुर मे आक्सीजन की कमी से बच्चों की दर्दनाक मौत , सरकार ज़िम्मेदार।कठोर कार्यवाही हो, 20-20 लाख का मुआवज़ा दे सरकार ।— Akhilesh Yadav (@yadavakhilesh) August 11, 2017
UP Congress chief Raj Babbar blamed the state government for the deaths and demanded the immediate resignation of state health minister Siddharth Nath Singh.
"The CM was in Gorakhpur two days ago and this is what happened today (Friday). If he had taken any action over the laxity, nobody would have died. I demand the immediate resignation of the health minister on moral grounds. Also, at least Rs 20 lakh compensation must be given to the families of the children who died," he said.
U.P CM visited the hospital only on 9th Aug & Oxygen supply allegedly stopped on 11th.Does it not show negligence of CM Adityanath himself? pic.twitter.com/Qp2P06p4WF— Randeep S Surjewala (@rssurjewala) August 11, 2017
Sources told News18 that the contract for BRD Hospital’s oxygen supply was with Modi Chemicals of Gorakhpur till March 2017, after which it was given to an Allahabad-based firm for no specific reason. Sources also claim it was given to the firm without any proper contract or tender.
A total of 60 people have been reported to have died in the hospital in the last five days.
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