At least 22 Covid-19 patients died after an oxygen tanker leaked outside a hospital in Maharashtra’s Nashik on 21 April afternoon. The incident took place at Dr Zakir Hussain Hospital.
Earlier this afternoon, a leakage was reported from an oxygen tanker while refilling, prompting the hospital and local administration officials to take measures to fix the leak. The leakage halted the oxygen supply for nearly 30 minutes. Although the leakage was fixed with the help of the fire department, the condition of patients on oxygen support in the meantime deteriorated and they lost the battle against the virus.
Panic gripped the patients and their relatives as the oxygen supply was stopped. State Health Minister Rajesh Tope said that leakage must have affected the supply of oxygen inside the hospital, adding that accountability will be fixed.
“Due to the valves leakage of the tanker in Nashik, there was massive Oxygen leakage. Definitely, this would have affected the supply inside the hospital. I am yet to gather more information. We will issue a press note after gathering more information,” he said.
FDA Minister Dr Rajendra Shingane said, “It is an unfortunate incident. As per preliminary information, we have learnt that 11 people died. We are trying to get a detailed report. We have ordered an enquiry as well. Those who are responsible will not be spared.”
Nashik Municipal Commissioner Kailash Shinde said that the supply from the plant was halted after the leakage, adding that several patients are in critical condition and all possible steps are being taken by the doctors to save lives. Shinde said that there are 700 patients admitted to the hospital.
The oxygen sypply has been restored, he said.
Meanwhile, NCP leader Majeed Memon said that those responsible must be punished. “Leakage of Oxygen from tanker in Nasik has caused loss of several litres of oxygen and panic in the Hospital. Those responsible for negligence must be identified and punished,” he tweeted.