Locals recording video, low-hanging wires: Key challenges in dousing Delhi hospital blaze that killed 7 newborns | India News

NEW DELHI: The rescue operation at an east Delhi children’s hospital, where a fire broke out and claimed the lives of seven newborns, presented numerous challenges for the firefighting personnel.
One of the most significant obstacles they encountered was managing the crowd that had gathered at the scene, with many individuals recording videos of the incident.
According to Delhi Fire Services officials, the blaze started at the Baby Care New Born Hospital in Vivek Vihar around 11:30 pm on Saturday and quickly spread to two neighboring buildings. Although twelve newborns were successfully rescued from the facility, tragically, seven of them succumbed to the fire. Five babies are currently receiving treatment at another hospital.
“Several people had gathered at the spot and were recording videos of the fire. Many of them even came close to those trying to douse the flames,” news agency PTI quoted a senior Delhi Fire Services official as saying.
The official emphasized the importance of people maintaining a safe distance from ongoing firefighting operations to ensure that those working to extinguish the flames can do so effectively.
The fire had not only engulfed the hospital but also spread to a boutique, a private bank in the adjacent building, an eyeglass showroom, and a shop selling domestic articles in another building. Additionally, a scooter, an ambulance, and a portion of a nearby park had also caught fire. Despite this, locals were standing between the park and the building, recording videos of the incident.
Officials stressed that one of the most significant challenges during such operations is controlling the public.
Another obstacle they faced was the lack of a water source and the presence of low-hanging electrical wires. The Delhi Fire Services is currently investigating whether the building had a valid fire no-objection certificate (NOC).
A senior police officer reported that the babies were rescued through a window behind the hospital with the help of other individuals. The infants were then transported to another hospital, where six were pronounced dead on arrival, and one passed away during treatment. The bodies have been sent to GTB Hospital for post-mortem examination.
Delhi L-G Saxena directs chief secretary to ‘institute inquiry’
Lt Governor VK Saxena has directed chief secretary Naresh Kumar, calling for an investigation into the incident.
“Have asked the chief secretary to institute an inquiry into the tragic incidents of fire in children’s hospital in Delhi. Also instructed CP (commissioner of police) to ensure all that is needful,” Saxena said in a post on X. “My heartfelt condolences to bereaved families.”
Saxena also assured necessary support and ensured accountability for those responsible.
“I assure all relief and will ensure that guilty are brought to book,” he added.
Saurabh Bharadwaj, the Delhi health minister, has also instructed the chief secretary to conduct a swift investigation into the fire incident.
PM Modi announces Rs 2 lakh each for kin of deceased
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has announced a compensation of Rs 2 lakh to be provided to the families of each person who lost their life in the devastating fire incident. The funds will be allocated from the Prime Minister’s National Relief Fund.
According to a statement released by the Prime Ministers’ office on X, “In the wake of the fire tragedy at a hospital in Delhi, the Prime Minister has announced that an ex gratia of Rs. 2 lakh from PMNRF would be given to the next of kin of each deceased. Rs. 50,000 would be given to each of those injured.”
The Prime Minister also conveyed his deep sorrow and condolences over the tragic event. In a post on X, PM Modi expressed, “The fire tragedy at a hospital in Delhi is heart-rending. My thoughts are with the bereaved families in this incredibly difficult time. I pray that those injured recover at the earliest.”

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