24 patients on ventilator die at Nashik hospital; oxygen tank leak likely cause, says Rajesh Tope
The Maharashtra health minister ordered a probe into the matter, even as relatives of deceased COVID-19 patients blamed the deaths on 'lowered supply of oxygen' at the Zakir Hussain hospital
The toll in the Nashik hospital oxygen leakage incident on Wednesday rose to 24 after two more COVID-19 patients died in the evening, a top district official said.
"Two more patients, who were on ventilator, succumbed in the evening. They could not get sufficient oxygen earlier in the day when its supply stopped due to the leakage in the tank," collector Suraj Mandhare told PTI.
Earlier in the day, 22 COVID-19 patients on ventilator support suffocated to death when their oxygen supply stopped suddenly because of a malfunction in the main storage at the civic-run Dr Zakir Husain Hospital in Nashik city.
"As per the current information, 22 people have died due to the interrupted supply of oxygen at the Zakir Hussain municipal hospital. The patients were on ventilators as well as on oxygen supply, which got interrupted after the leakage in the oxygen supply tank," he told reporters.
He said the municipal corporation immediately shifted the cylinders from the other facilities where oxygen demand was not high.
These patients were being treated at a hospital run by the Nashik Municipal Corporation (NMC) for the COVID-19 patients.
"The leakage was spotted at the oxygen tank which was supplying oxygen to these patients. The interrupted supply could be linked to the deaths of the 11 patients in the hospital," Maharashtra health minister Rajesh Tope told reporters.
He said the Maharashtra government will look into the matter and conduct a thorough probe. "We will issue a statement later after the investigation is over," Tope added.
A video of oxygen purportedly leaking from the storage plant has gone viral on social media since this morning.
#WATCH | An Oxygen tanker leaked while tankers were being filled at Dr Zakir Hussain Hospital in Nashik, Maharashtra. Officials are present at the spot, operation to contain the leak is underway. Details awaited. pic.twitter.com/zsxnJscmBp
— ANI (@ANI) April 21, 2021
Some relatives of the deceased COVID-19 patients have alleged that the "lowered supply of oxygen" claimed the lives of their kin.
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Eight workers were said to be at the unit at the time of the incident. However, no casualties have been reported.
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