Rajkot hospital fire: Five booked for causing death by negligence; probe reveals violation of multiple fire safety norms
Police said the ICU gate was not constructed as per standard norms and did not have fire or emergency exit signages. The emergency gate was found blocked, hampering rescue operations
Ahmedabad: Five persons were booked on Sunday on the charge of causing death by negligence, two days after a fire at a designated private COVID-19 hospital in Gujarat's Rajkot killed five patients, police said, adding that probe revealed violation of multiple norms by management of the hospital.
The accused included chairman, executive director, and other officials of Gokul Healthcare Pvt Limited which operates Uday Shivanand COVID Hospital, where the five deaths had occurred.
"The five persons, including top officials of Gokul Healthcare, have been booked under Section 304-A (Causing death by negligence) of the Indian Penal Code after probe revealed gross negligence on their part. Norms were flouted to run the hospital. There was also absence of fire safety facilities," Rajkot DCP Manoharsinh Jadeja told reporters.
The accused are identified as Prakash Moda, chairman of Gokul Healthcare, Vishal Modha, executive director, Tejas Karamta, a director, and Tejas Motavaras and Digvijaysinh Jadeja, the DCP said.
"The five accused are being questioned. We will conduct COVID-19 tests before arresting them," he said.
Jadeja said the new COVID-19 hospital began functioning after getting permission on 15 September.
"The hospital was started in three floors rented at a hospital being run by Shivanand Mission Trust. Several norms were found to be flouted and negligence of hospital administrators came to fore during investigation," he said.
The DCP said the ICU emergency gate was found blocked, as a result of which it could not be used for rescue when the blaze erupted.
"There was also lack of ventilation. One of the five patients died of asphyxiation due to lack of ventilation," he said citing postmortem report.
The Uday Shivanand COVID Hospital is a 57-bed hospital with only a four-foot door and a staircase which hampered the rescue operation, he said.
The ICU entry door is not constructed as per the standard norms and there is no fire or emergency exit signages, the police officer said.
He said mandatory sprinkler system was not fitted inside the hospital and the staff was not trained to handle fire-fighting equipment.
Preliminary probe had revealed the blaze occurred due to a short circuit in a ventilator in the ICU ward of the hospital.
Find latest and upcoming tech gadgets online on Tech2 Gadgets. Get technology news, gadgets reviews & ratings. Popular gadgets including laptop, tablet and mobile specifications, features, prices, comparison.
Coronavirus News Updates: Centre should bear cost of COVID-19 vaccine for the poor, says Rajesh Tope
Coronavirus News Updates: The Maharashtra health minister said two doses (of a COVID-19 vaccine) will cost Rs 500 and the state government will take "appropriate" steps if the Centre doesn't take steps regarding its expectation
Coronavirus News Updates: Delhi's tally of patients with new COVID-19 strain rises to 9; no UK variant in Mizoram, says health minister
Coronavirus News Updates: Mizoram health minister Dr R Lalthangliana said seven state residents have so far returned from the United Kingdom and all of them tested negative for the mutant coronavirus as well as COVID-19
CoWIN to auto-disable syringes: Centre to launch COVID-19 vaccination drive from 16 January; all you need to know
More than 61,000 programme managers, two lakh vaccinators, and 3.7 lakh other vaccination team members have been trained so far as part of training at states, districts, and block levels