New Delhi, 6 August 2020 (dpa/MIA) – A fire killed eight coronavirus patients at a hospital in India‘s western city of Ahmedabad on Thursday, officials said.
The blaze broke out in the intensive care unit of the Shrey Hospital, a designated Covid-19 facility and 41 patients were rescued by fire services, police officer Rajendra Asari told reporters.
The patients had been moved to a government hospital, and local media reported that some firefighters had been quarantined since they had come into contact with patients of the highly infectious disease.
All the victims had suffocated to death, the online edition of the Times of India newspaper reported.
Deputy chief minister Nitin Patel said initial investigations showed that the fire broke out due to an electrical short circuit and a probe had been ordered by authorities into the tragedy.
One paramedic was also being treated for burns while trying to douse the fire and evacuate the patients, he said.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi offered his condolences for the deaths in his home state.
Deadly fires are common in India and are often made worse by poor safety measures and a lack of fire escapes. The fires are often caused by substandard or ageing electrical material.