Congress leader Rahul Gandhi Saturday condoled the death of newborn babies in the Maharashtra hospital fire and appealed to the state government to provide all possible assistance to the families of the deceased and the injured. Ten newborns died after the fire broke out in the Special Newborn Care Unit of a hospital in Maharashtra’s Bhandara district in the early hours of Saturday, doctors said.
The babies were aged between a month and three months, according to a doctor. District civil surgeon Pramod Khandate said there were 17 babies in the unit of whom seven could be rescued. “The unfortunate incident of fire at Bhandara District General Hospital in Maharashtra is extremely tragic. My condolences to the families of the children who lost their lives," Gandhi said in a tweet.
“I appeal to Maha Govt to provide every possible assistance to the families of the injured & deceased," he said. The Maharashtra government is led by the Shiv Sena with the NCP and the Congress part of the ruling dispensation.
Soon after, Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray ordered a probe into the incident and asked Health Minister Rajesh Tope to intervene. Tope announced Rs 5 lakh compensation for the kin of those infants who has died, and is set to visit the hospital at 5pm.
After news of the incident broke out, various leaders expressed their condolences to the bereaved families. In a tweet, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said he hoped for the speedy recovery of those injured in the fire.
Union Home Minister Amit Shah said “he was pained beyond words". “My thoughts and condolences are with bereaved families. May God give them the strength to bear this irreparable loss," he said in a tweet.
“I share the grief of the families whose children died in this incident. May God give them the strength to endure this suffering," Nitin Gadkari said in a tweet.
Recent Shiv Sena joinee Urmila Matondkar praised the “swift action" of Tope after the incident.
President Ram Nath Kovind also expressed his condolences.
महाराष्ट्र के भंडारा में हुए अग्नि हादसे में शिशुओं की असामयिक मृत्यु से मुझे गहरा दुख हुआ है। इस ह्रदय विदारक घटना में अपनी संतानों को खोने वाले परिवारों के प्रति मेरी हार्दिक संवेदना।— President of India (@rashtrapatibhvn) January 9, 2021
Defence Minister Rajnath Singh said he was “deeply saddened by the death of infants in a tragic fire at the District Hospital Bhandara, Maharashtra."