Rajkot hospital fire: Police arrests three senior Gokul Lifecare officials for causing death by negligence

Investigation into the incident revealed that fire prevention protocols and safety measures were lacking at the hospital, which hindered rescue operations and resulted in deaths of five patients

Press Trust of India December 01, 2020 14:53:52 IST
Rajkot hospital fire: Police arrests three senior Gokul Lifecare officials for causing death by negligence

Ahmedabad: Three senior officials of a company that operated a private COVID-19 hospital in Gujarat's Rajkot district where a fire killed five patients last week have been arrested, a police official said on Tuesday.

The fire broke out around 12.30 am on Friday in the ICU ward of Uday Shivanand Hospital in which five COVID-19 patients were killed, while 28 others were rescued.

On Sunday, the police registered an FIR against five officials of Gokul Healthcare Pvt Limited, which operated the hospital, under Indian Penal Code Section 304-A (causing death by negligence).

The police arrested the company's chairman Dr Prakash Modha, his son and executive director Dr Vishal Modha, and director Dr Tejas Karamta on Monday night after their COVID-19 test reports were received, an official from Rajkot's Malviya Nagar police station said.

"They have been booked along with two others under the Indian Penal Code section for causing death by negligence," he said.

On Sunday, Deputy Commissioner of Police Manoharsinh Jadeja told reporters that an investigation into the incident revealed negligence on part of the hospital authorities, and hence the FIR was lodged against them under IPC Section 304-A.

He said the COVID-19 hospital began functioning after getting permission on 15 September.

The hospital was started on three floors rented at a hospital being run by Shivanand Mission Trust. During the investigation into the incident, several norms were found to have been allegedly flouted and negligence of hospital administrators came to fore, he said.

The hospital did not follow fire prevention protocols and safety measures were lacking, which caused difficulties in the rescue operation and resulted in the death of five patients, he had said.

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